obituary header
Welcome to the memorial page for

John W. Howell

July 10, 1924 ~ November 7, 2016 (age 92) 92 Years Old

John Walter Howell, 92, Leadore, was called home to his Heavenly Family on November 7, 2016 in Salmon, Idaho at the Discovery Care Center.

John was born in Murray, Utah to George B. and Dora Harper Howell.  He was the 3rd of 6 children to this union, being siblings to Grace, Llewelyn, Doris, Mary, and Alton.  John's early years were spent traveling around the intermountain area as his Father, George Howell worked at various mines, living in Salt Lake City, Rapid City, Virginia City, Mt and Gilmore.  Later, Dad lived and worked on Ranches in the Big Hole and around Dillon.  For a short time, he was employed, by the USFS, working in the Island Park area.

Being taught by his Father, he developed an aptitude for hardrock mining and panning gold; sharing those experiences and abilities with his own sons.

In 1943, John joined the US Army Air Corp at Fort Douglas, Utah.  Later, he was transferred to Colorado Springs for preliminary flight training.  Being injured during the training, he joined the National Guard stationed in Idaho Falls and later in Salmon, attaining the position of Sergeant 1st Class. He retired from the National Guard with the closure of the Salmon National Guard Company in 1962.

Early in his life, he developed a love for driving.  Starting with teams of horses and advancing to the early commercial trucks and buses.  He specifically enjoyed driving passenger buses, working for the Dubois and Leadore School Districts; then driving Commercial Buses, working for Intermountain Transportation, Teton Stages, and Yellowstone Park Company.  He taught himself the specific information of Yellowstone Park area, sharing over the bus's PA system the general and specific information of the Park, to give those passengers a special experience while traveling under his care through the Yellowstone and Teton Parks.  We don't know how many miles he actually drove, but a conservative estimate is 1.5 million miles.

In 1946, John met and married Peggy Hunter of Rupert.  They lived in Rupert and Gilmore where he drove School Bus, drove Semi's, and worked in the Gilmore mines.  To this union, a daughter, Kathy, was born.  They were later divorced.

In 1949, he met Ann Curtis while on a bus to Leadore.  Ann had been invited to Leadore to attend the wedding dance for Bob and Norma Calrson.  Ann was traveling with John's sister, Mary. While on the bus ride to Leadore, Mary was giving this guy sitting in front of them a “bad time”.  Mom thought Mary was being a bit rude and asked her to stop bothering the guy.  Mary responded she wasn't bothering the guy because he was her brother.  Later, at the activity, John asked Ann to dance and they danced together for 66 years.

To this union were born 3 sons, John Beale, Alan Eugene, and Bradley Curtis.  They were welcomed by Ann's daughter, by a prior marriage, Paula Ann.

Pursuing their life together, they lived in Idaho Falls, Spencer, Salmon, Leadore, Ashton, St. Anthony, Boise, Palisades, back to St. Anthony, and finally, after retiring, back home to Leadore, living near Paula and Alan.

Dad's favorite activities were hunting, fishing, carving, tinkering on equipment, and Cowboy Poetry.  Teaching his daughter and son's the ins and outs of catching fish, where the fish lay in a stream and how to tease them out was a favorite pass time.  Many family hours together were spent in the out of doors hunting, fishing, and camping.

John had a knack for the rhythm of words and wrote many poems of Country Life and Patriotic verse.  He participated in many Cowboy Poet gatherings.  In 2006, he was voted a member of the Idaho Cowboy Poets Hall of Fame.  He always said his wife was his greatest inspiration and supporter as she went with him to all the gatherings he attended.

Dad was a strong supporter of Law Enforcement.  For a time, while living in Leadore, he was a member of the Idaho State Police Reserve Officers, working with Officer Elvin Albiston. Later, between 1975-1977, he worked for the City of St. Anthony as a Patrol Officer.  One of his challenging times was during the Teton Flood Disaster.  His son Alan had planned on fishing that day in the canyon below the dam.  With the loss of communication, he and Ann were unaware that Alan had never made the trip due to some mechanical issues with Alan's truck.  For 4 days, he and fellow officers looked for any sign of the missing son.  It was only when Alan met a friend and State Police Officer, that Alan was advised he was one of the missing; but, would advise via radio, that the lost was found.  Alan's response was “I knew where I was all the time”.

John was a member of the American Legion for 63 years, serving as District Commander in the Leadore Post, as well as holding all other positions.  He was a member of the St. Anthony Post at his passing having just recently paid his dues for 2017.  In addition, he served several years as a Counselor at the Boy's State Legislative Training in Boise.  He commented current Idaho Senator Mike Crapo was a member of his “City” and remembered what a great young man he thought Mike was and Mike would be a great Statesman.

While living in Leadore, he enjoyed his Cowboy Poetry, traveling with his son on business, enjoying hunting and fishing with his family and lifelong friend, Bobby Anderson.

John is preceded in death by his parent; brothers; and sisters; being the last member of his parents immediate family.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, 10month,  Anne Louise Curtis Howell;  his Step-Daughter Paula (Gerald) Peterson, of Leadore; John (Gailyn) of Chelsea, Alabama; Alan (Deon) of Leadore; Bradley (Aubrey) of Roundup, Montana;  and Kathy Norris of Rupert.  He is also survived by 13 Grandchildren; and 18 Great Grandchildren, with one on the way.

The Howell family would like to express their gratitude to Hospice, Steele Memorial Medical Center, the Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rexburg, and the Discovery Care Center for their dedicated effort in his last days.  Our thanks for the many kindnesses from our friends and neighbors that came to our rescue.

Memorial Services will be held at 1:00 pm Saturday, November 12, 2016 in the Leadore LDS Church, 118 N. 3rd St. Leadore, ID 83464. Family will receive friends one hour prior to services in the church with Military honors being performed after the services with taps being played by Brandon Jones (Great-grandson). Services will be conducted by Bishop Von Bean. Donations can be made to an American Legion Post of your choice.

Service arrangements are under the care of Wheeler Bell Tower Funeral Home, 900 Mulkey St., Salmon, ID, (208)742-1234. Condolences may be sent to the family online at

 Service Information

November 12, 2016

12:00 PM to 12:45 PM
Leadore LDS Building
118 N. 3rd St.
Leadore, ID 83464

Memorial Service
November 12, 2016

1:00 PM
Leadore LDS Building
118 N. 3rd St.
Leadore, ID 83464

© 2024 Bell Tower Funeral Home of Salmon. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility