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John  Russell  Howell Sr.
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Obituary for John Russell Howell Sr.

John was born in Hunnewell, MO. to Floyd and Grace Howell, on October 28, 1922 and passed away at age 94 in Midwest City, OK on June 19, 2017.

John was preceded in death by his wife Betty, two sisters and two brothers, Edith May, Gladys Vivian, Harold Lynn “Bud”, and Carl Robert.

He is survived by his sons John Russell Jr, Richard Burke and his wife Janet; three grandchildren Lindsey, Courtney and her husband Doug, and John Logan and his wife Kaela; and seven great grandchildren Caitlyn, Calyssa, Colton, Cambri, Cordsen, Ryan and Connor.

The family moved to Mt. Vernon, Mo in the early 1930's. John finished high school and went to work for his father who owned the local telephone company. John had complete working knowledge of telephone systems at a very young age.At 19 John entered World War Two, enlisting into the Army as a rifleman. While in the 70th Infantry division he advanced into field communications with his knowledge of phone technology. John installed telephone lines from the front line of combat to field command in the rear. He and his crew followed Patton from France to Germany continually moving communication lines forward. At the end of the war John went to College at Oklahoma A & M, earning a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. John met Betty Burke Beckley of El Reno, Ok. at a sorority function. The rest is history. Betty's major was home economics’ and graduated at the top of her class. After courting for a short time, they married on July 30, 1949. They were the parents of two children, John Jr and Richard Burke. After graduation, he went to work for IBM as a computer systems engineer. John worked for IBM for 36 years and was responsible for maintaining the most sophisticated computers IBM’s technology offered, both government and private sector. After retirement, he enjoyed tinkering and working on the family genealogy. John lived at Wellington Park and Blue Ridge Assisted living centers for many years. He had many friends and was a continual inspiration to those around him. Special thanks to Mary Beth at Blue Ridge.

Visitation will be from 8am to 8pm on Tuesday and Wednesday at Barnes Friederich funeral home. Funeral services will be held 10:00 A.M. Thursday, June 22, 2017 at St. Matthews United Methodist with interment following at El Reno cemetery.

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Previous Events

Formal Visitation




8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Barnes Friederich Funeral Home

1820 S. Douglas Blvd.
Midwest City, OK 73130

Formal Visitation




8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Barnes Friederich Funeral Home

1820 S. Douglas Blvd.
Midwest City, OK 73130

Funeral Service




10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
St. Matthew United Methodist Church

300 N. Air Depot Blvd.
Midwest City, Oklahoma 73110

Cemetery Details


El Reno Cemetery

1300 E Elm Street
El Reno , Oklahoma 73036


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