Lewis County, NY
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oldVarian H. Howell
July 4, 1925 ~ September 1, 2020 (age 95)

Varian (Hank) Henry Howell, 95, son of the late Ezra James  and Grace Mary Kirch Howell, of Lyons Falls, New York, passed away on September 1, 2020, at the Samaritan Summit Village where he had resided for the past two years.

Born in Glenfield, New York, on July 4, 1925, Hank was one of seven children.  In 1942, he graduated from General Martin High School in Glenfield.  From 1942 to1945, he served with the Navy Seabees in the Pacific Theatre.  He attended Associated Colleges of Upper New York in Plattsburg and graduated with an Associate Arts Degree in Pre-med.  In 1948, he began working for Georgia Pacific in the laboratory and later as a machinist, retiring in 1987 after thirty-nine years with the company.

Very civic minded, Hank served with the Lyons Falls Fire Department, on the Lyons Falls High School Board of Education and as a Justice of the Peace for the Town of Lyonsdale for many years.  A member of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, he had a strong Christian faith.  To this day, his four remaining children are actively involved in the church of their choice.

On February 24, 1949, Hank married the love of his life, Virginia (Ginny) Mary Reed, in a ceremony held at St. Peter’s Church in Lowville, New York, officiated by Monsignor Hogan.  The couple resided on Laura Street in Lyons Falls, New York, where they raised their five children.

As a “Jack of all trades”, Hank used his varied skills to help build his own home:  carpentry, plumbing, electrical, heating.  He could do it all.  Moreover, he never threw anything away if it could be fixed or repaired, and he had a gift for being able to fix just about anything.  If he didn’t have the right part, he used a lathe at Georgia Pacific during his breaks and made one.  His parents, Ezra and Grace Howell, and his Aunt Toots, LaVerne Voll, made use of his expertise over the years.

Athletic, Hank enjoyed playing basketball and softball in the earlier years of his marriage.  He enjoyed swimming, riding his bicycle to work, and was not only a member of the Brantingham Golf Club, playing with his partner, Dave Salmon for many, many years, but also was a member of a bowling league for Georgia Pacific.  At the Ninth Annual Northern New York Paper Mill Bowling Tournament, he won the high individual single with handicap honors.

youngWith his family, Hank loved spending time at his Boonville camp located on the Black River:  swimming, boating, fishing, and playing cards.  He and Ginny enjoyed many social get-togethers with close neighbors and friends over the years, which ultimately ended with good food and card playing.  More recently, they had lunch and played Euchre with Ginny’s family and his daughters, Kathy and Judy.

After they retired, Hank and Ginny bought a house in Clermont, Florida.  For nearly thirty years, they enjoyed spending time in Florida with their sons during the fall and winter and then in Lyons Falls with their daughters during the spring and summer.

Hank is survived by two daughters, Kathy (Ron) Tepfenhart, of Brownville, and Judy (Ron) Gilligan, of Adams Center, and two sons, Rich (Renda), of Clermont, Florida, and Bob (Tammy), of Orlando, Florida; three sisters-in-law, Betty Widrick, of Croghan, Shirley (Hugh) Wood, of Lowville, and Liz Howell, of Rochester; a brother-in-law, Phill Reed, and his life-long partner, Steve Daby, of Richland; his nephew, Gale (Diane), of Ontario, New York, who has remained close to him throughout his life; eleven grandchildren; and fourteen great grandchildren; as well as by many nieces and nephews.  He is predeceased by, Virginia (Ginny) Mary Reed Howell, his wife of sixty-seven years; an infant daughter, Madonna; a son, Doug; his parents, Ezra J. and Grace M. Kirch Howell; three brothers:  James Sheldon, Lawrence Roswell, and John D.; and three sisters:  Anna Maxine Horvath, Ethelda M. Slack, and Patricia A. Gorczyca.

A private funeral service will be held on Saturday at the Iseneker Funeral Home, Inc., Lowville, with Pastor Gary George officiating.  Burial will follow at the Old Glendale Cemetery, Glenfield.  No calling hours are scheduled.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Lyons Falls Fire Department, 3907 High Street, Lyons Falls, New York 13368, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Iseneker Funeral Home, Lowville, New York, 2020.


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