James R. Howell

James R. Howell

Husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend and mentor: These are just a few of the many roles that defined James Richardson Howell, who passed away at his home in Fontana, Saturday, Sept. 10, at the age of 90. Jim was born Sept. 13, 1931, in Beloit, WI, the son of Paul and Lucille (Richardson) Howell. He attended Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, WI and Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL., where he met Carlene M. Raymond. The couple married Oct. 2, 1954, in Addison, IL. She preceded him in death Feb. 9, 2012.

Throughout his life, Jim took on new career challenges. He owned and operated Culligan water treatment franchises, was a sales representative for McCulloch and Snapper outdoor equipment, taught and coached at Northwestern Military Academy, and for the last 40 years owned and operated WRS, a windshield and glass repair business. On Jan. 10, 2015, Jim married Susan Gilkes in Fontana. During their marriage they traveled extensively, including cruises through the Panama Canal and to Alaska. In addition, they wintered in Bradenton, FL for several years.

Jim was an avid golfer and loved most sports; he was a loyal fan of the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers. During the years Jim coached at Northwestern Military Academy he mentored many cadets who found that behind his big, booming voice was a caring counselor. Jim’s greatest joy, however, was his family and many friends.

Jim is survived by his loving wife, Susan Gilkes-Howell, of Fontana; five children: Jay (Cathy), Naperville, IL; Joanne Howell, Scottsdale, AZ; Jon (Barb), Delavan, WI; Jill (Allen) Ritchey, Walworth, WI; and James (Darla), Huntsville, AL; seven grandchildren: Samantha, Jason, Tessa, Max, Sam, Jessica and Nell; and four great-grandchildren: Grace, Lily, Wesley and Ella; and one half-brother Steve Laabs of Fayetteville, PA. Jim was preceded in death by one sister Dorothy Dowden.

A visitation and memorial service will be held from 1-3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24, at Toynton’s Walworth Funeral Home with a celebration of life following at Kimkaski Pub, Fontana.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family suggests memorials to the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic, Burlington, WI or Aurora at Home Hospice, also of Burlington.

For more information call the funeral home at 262-275-2171

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