John C. Howell was born March 14, 1951 in St. Louis to John and Ruth (Wade) Howell.
The family moved to the rural Joplin area around 1963, where they purchased 10 acres of land and built a house. John spent his early years farming, bailing hay, and raising livestock. At a young age, he also developed a love for cars. He graduated as Senior Class President from Seneca High School in 1969.
John met Susan Duncan in 1968 during their senior year of high school. They were married on April 17, 1971 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Joplin, where they have been long-time parishioners.
John is survived by his wife, Susan, of the home; his children, Julie Robertson (Kevin) of Maryville, Missouri, John C. Howell, Jr., of Zachary, Louisiana, Katy Ryan (Joel) of Wamego, Kansas, and Natalie Egan (Marty) of Grand Prairie, Texas; seven grandchildren, Elizabeth, Edward, Kiley, Brayden, Megan, Nathanael, and Stella; three siblings, Jane Carr (Dennis), Anna Monteleone (Mark), and Roger Howell (Debbie); many nieces and nephews; and his beloved dog and daily companion, Jake.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Ruth Howell.
John was a diesel mechanic by trade and worked for Cummins, Freightliner, and MHC Kenworth over the years. You would also find him doing side jobs, such as general car mechanic repairs, running his own lawn mowing service across the Joplin area, and doing constant construction projects and handyman jobs.
It’s hard to sum up the life of a man who was quiet, but confident, a problem solver, handyman extraordinaire, the “dog whisperer”, and an amazing Dad and Grandpa. He taught his kids how to work hard and put everything into what you want. He was a problem solver and instilled in his children the determination to work through whatever problems came our way. He was the voice of reason and calm when life was crazy. He worked hard to ensure his family had a better life through sacrifice, working multiple jobs, odd hours, and beyond.
When he wasn’t working, you could find him on the sidelines cheering on his children, and then his grandchildren. He spent countless hours chasing rebounds and playing catch. He loved to spend time in his woodworking shop and building pieces for his home and his children’s homes. John was an avid reader throughout his life and this love of reading is carried on through his wife and children. On Sunday afternoons, you could find him watching NASCAR, Cardinals baseball, or the Chiefs. His latest project was helping his son, John Jr., to restore a 1955 Chevy Belair. They enjoyed numerous Skype calls, phone calls, and in-person visits to make this dream a reality.
The family would like to thank all the staff at Integrity Home Health and Mercy Hospital for their compassionate and attentive care during the last few weeks.
Funeral mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, February 22, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Joplin with Rev. J. Friedel officiating. Rosary will be recited at 2:00 p.m. Sunday at Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary with visitation following until 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Peter’s Outreach House or St. Peter’s Chapter of the Knights of Columbus in care of the mortuary. Arrangements are under the direction of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary, Joplin.