James D. Howell Jr. Obituary
James Delbert Howell Jr., 82, passed away suddenly at his home in Gold Canyon, Arizona on Friday, October 14, 2016.
James’ life began in Hettinger, North Dakota with his father, James Delbert Howell Sr. and his mother, Florence. Jim had charisma from an early age. He was regularly doted on by his mother and two sisters, Shirley and Beverly, and was affectionately known as “the golden boy.”
Growing up in Hettinger, Jim went to Hettinger High School where his love for music developed with piano and clarinet. Jim played piano for many school functions and lettered in music, baseball and basketball.
Jim’s college days were spent at the University of Utah where he was a member of the ski team and played in the University Concert Band – he graduated with a degree in marketing. Jim’s fondness for Utah would surface when he would often break into a full rendition of “Utah Man,” his alma mater’s fight song –for no reason whatsoever. Jim would keep in touch with his fraternity brothers from Sigma Phi Epsilon through reunions and later through social media.
Jim’s college time was interrupted by a two-year stint in the United States Army – where he did basic training at Fort Ord, California and was a PFC of the 5th Infantry Division and was stationed in Germany during the Korean Conflict.
In Germany, Jim was a member of the Army band playing piano and clarinet.
He married Carolyn Gray, and had two sons, Jonathan and Michael.
Jim started his career as a salesman for Gates Rubber, selling tires and automotive products. After Gates, Jim was hired by Josten’s, where he specialized in selling high school yearbooks. He later worked with Herff Jones where he sold and organized U.S. Navy Cruise Books – Jim did the photography of thousands of sailors on various ships.
Jim had an adventurous spirit and loved to travel. He was a member of a rare group – The Transpacific Yacht Club. Jim competed 3 times in TRANSpac, a race in the Pacific Ocean between two points more than 2,000 miles apart.
Jim enjoyed music – especially classical and jazz – and as his hearing went, he would play both at deafening decibel levels. Jim enjoyed television – especially the military channels as Jim was a big WWII aficionado. Jim was pretty good online – versed in social media, solitaire and the news.
Jim enjoyed people. And dogs. Family for sure and friends too – as Jim had an easy and affable manner, with a kind word and a smile for all. Jim just had a nice way about him.
And Jim wasn’t just Jim. It was Jim and Marlene. Marlene and Jim, both originally from Hettinger, North Dakota re-discovered one another in 1996 and married in 1997 in Payson, Arizona. They were a wonderful team that found and kept love and company and companionship.
Jim and Marlene traveled for years by boat, then by motor home – visiting friends and staying in many a yard and driveway along the way. Settling in Gold Canyon, they shared and cared amongst friends and family deeply until the end.
Jim enjoyed many things, among them he enjoyed the Mishler family. Lisa Mishler – for food, friendship and family. Mike Mishler – for friendship and fixing stuff. Young Michael Mishler – for smiles and youth.
Jim also enjoyed in no particular order: Music in all forms. Driving fast. Boats. Sailing. Sports. Happy hour. Sugar, his dog. Friends from Gold Canyon.
Jim Howell is survived by sons, Jonathan and his wife Elizabeth, Michael and his wife JoAnn, along with grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Jim is also survived by wife Marlene, her brother, Boyd, and her children Tom, Janet, Joanie, John and Lisa along with several grandchildren and great grandchildren.