Dr. Willie Ree Howell, age 80, of Cave Spring, died Wednesday afternoon in a Rome hospital following an extended illness.
Dr. Howell was born in Mize, Mississippi, June 9, 1937, a daughter of the late Marvin B. Allen and the late Bessie Ainsworth Allen. A graduate of the Mize High School, Dr. Howell attended Ole Miss and earned an undergraduate degree at Millsap’s College in Jackson Mississippi. After graduation, she was a medical technician and taught elementary school for a couple of years prior to going back to Millsap’s College and then enrolling in the University Of Mississippi Medical College, graduating from there in 1984. Dr. Howell and her husband Charles moved to Rome that year for her to do her residency at Floyd Medical Center. After her residency, Dr. Howell continued at Floyd, later moved to the Physician’s staff at Redmond Regional Hospital and then served as the E.R. Director of the Polk General Hospital in Cedartown for 15 years prior to her retirement in 2005.
Dr. Mammaw to many and the matriarch of the Howell family, Dr. Howell was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Cave Spring, having gone on many mission trips, and was very active in generating support for the Georgia Faile Foundation, dedicated to making lives better in Northern Ghana through the hospital in Nalerigu. Dr. Howell was also instrumental in establishing the Gnome Gneighbors Club that brought together collectors of Gnome Neighbors.
Besides her parents, Dr. Howell was also preceded in death by her son, Charles Alan Howell, on July 28, 2012, and by a brother Harry Allen.
Survivors include her husband, Charles Howell, to whom she was married December 22, 1954; three daughters, Mrs. Beth Potter and her husband Rich of Cartersville, Mrs. Charla Peoples and her husband Joe of Adairsville, and Mrs. Denise Castro and her husband Lee of Adairsville; and twelve grandchildren, Amy Sprayberry, Al Howell, Hailey Howell, Lauren Kennedy, Richie Potter, Van Gunter, Bryant Gunter, Katie Beth Sherrill, JoEllen Peoples, Ashlee Castro, Lee Charles “June Bug” Castro, and Natalee Castro. Ten great-grandchildren, Brittnee Jordan, Sharon Varnes, Gabby Howell-Brown, Hannah Howell, Madelyn Howell, Samuel Howell, Weston Kennedy, Cheyenne Gunter, Zane Gunter, and Camryn Sherrill; eight great-great-grandchildren, Brayden Jordon, Blaze Jordon, Bella Jordon, Claire Blackwell, Ayden Cooper, Alivia Cooper, Mailee Howell, and Maddox Howell; her brother, Ricky Allen of Mize, Mississippi; her sisters, Mrs. Denalu Sullivan of Mize, and Mrs. Betty Crosby of Benton, Louisiana and a host of nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services for Dr. Howell were held Saturday at 11:00 A.M. at the First Baptist Church of Cave Spring with Dr. John Connell, Rev. Jim Pinkard and Rev. Chris Johnson officiating. Dr. Howell’s grandsons served as pallbearers and an honorary escort was composed of her grand-daughters.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Georgia Faile Foundation, at either 506 E. Third St., Rome, Ga. 30161-3118 or on the website www.failefoundation.org.
The family received friends at John House’s Cave Spring Chapel Friday evening from 6 until 8 P.M.