William Lee Howell
Waynesville — William Lee Howell, 86, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 at his residence.
He was the son of the late Samuel Lee and Wilsie Ross Howell and was also preceded in death by his brothers, Edward and David Ross Howell of Jonathan Creek.
Mr. Howell was a World War II Veteran, recently participating in the Honor Flight Program. After graduating from Western Carolina University in 1950, he moved to Detroit for a design engineer job in the automobile industry. Returning to Haywood County in 1961, he worked as a chemical engineer at Dayco Corporation in Waynesville. Then, a few years later, he was employed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where his services were retained for the design and development of one of the nation’s first composite missile nosecones placed on the MGR-1 Honest John rocket, the first nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile in the U.S. arsenal. In 1970, Mr. Howell and his family moved to Charlotte where he was a plant manager with Boston Scientific. In 1975, Bill and Anna returned permanently to Haywood County, opening and operating Howell Furniture Company in Clyde for the next 21 years. Mr. Howell was an active member of Waynesville Masonic Lodge #259 for 62 years and a member of Tri-County Shrine Club, where he was a strong advocate for the Shriners Hospitals for Children. He was a member of the Haywood County Planning Board and a member of Poulos Sportsman’s Club where he greatly enjoyed hunting. He enjoyed spending quality time outdoors with his grandsons. He and his wife, Anna, retired to Jonathan Creek, where they are active members of Dellwood Baptist Church, Waynesville.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Anna Root Howell; daughters, Lillian Howell Rumsey and husband, J.W. of Walhalla, South Carolina and Cathy Howell Ferrell and husband, Steve of Clover, South Carolina; grandsons, Wesley Rumsey (Amanda), Daniel Rumsey, Adam Ferrell (Celeste) and Mark Ferrell (Angel); and great-granddaughters, Caroline Belle and Carson Anna Rumsey.
Family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of Bill’s life at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20 at Dellwood Baptist Church. Visitation will be held at the church from 3 to 5 p.m. prior to the service. Masonic rites will be held at the graveside.
Memorials may be made to Dellwood Baptist Church, College & Careers Class, 115 Hall Drive, Waynesville, NC 28785.
An online memorial register is available at www.wellsfuneralhome.com.