Cover photo for John David Howell's Obituary
John David Howell Profile Photo
1971 John 2022

John David Howell

September 17, 1971 — October 11, 2022

Our hearts are broken as we try to figure out how to say goodbye to John, our father, husband, brother, uncle, son-in-law, brother-in-law, coach, teammate, and friend. John was born in Pittsburgh on September 17, 1971, to John and Elizabeth Howell as number seven of nine siblings. The family moved to Georgia for a few years and then to upstate New York where John attended Owego Free Academy in Owego, NY. From a very young age, John was an incredibly accomplished athlete and excelled at soccer throughout his childhood and teenage years. He also picked up volleyball as a young teen playing at the Boys Club. His skill and dedication to learning volleyball resulted in him winning multiple medals at the Olympic Festival as well as other major state and regional tournaments. John was recruited to several major universities and turned down Stanford to accept a volleyball scholarship at the University of Southern California in 1989. That's where he and Priscilla met. Priscilla was an Industrial Engineering major, tutoring football players in math when John came in for help with some type of alien math that Priscilla had never seen. Although she couldn't help him, the two awkward engineers chatted and flirted and started a loving partnership that lasted for the next 31 years. John graduated in 1993 with his BS Aerospace degree but just couldn't picture himself doing a desk job and wanted something more active. He joined Gardena Police Department, in Gardena, CA, where he served for more than five years with the force. He was on the SWAT and TRT teams, as well as a field training officer, before retiring in 2000. John and Priscilla moved to Duesseldorf, Germany, for their next adventure. Throughout John's time with Gardena and their time living in Germany, John and Priscilla traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as to South Africa, the Maldives, and Egypt. Much of that travel was tied to the International Police and Fire Olympics, where John continued to play outside hitter on the volleyball team. While living in Germany, John also enjoyed playing with one of the nearby semi-pro volleyball teams.

John moved back to the US in 2002 and he and Priscilla bought their first house. In 2005, John and Priscilla welcomed their first daughter, Lauren. Upon Lauren's birth, John decided to stay at home so he could have a relationship with his daughter that he had not had with his own dad. In 2009, Maddie joined the crew to make a foursome that was tight and up for an adventure, especially when it involved food or Disneyland, or BOTH. One of John's greatest memories, was when the family traveled back to his beloved Germany in 2018 and went Eurailing.

John supported the family and kept them sane. He coached just about every sports team the girls joined. He volunteered for extensive gigs with First Good Shepherd and Lamb of God schools, as well as any request that a friend, family member, or stranger came up with. And he wore his heart on his sleeve when anyone was having a rough time or needed a hand. In the past year, John had been putting his energy into making their new house into a home by managing a massive renovation project. And was planning to return to work, this time as a middle school math teacher.

Throughout his time on this earth, John loved and gave fearlessly and the world is a better place because of him.

John is survived by his wife, Priscilla; his daughters, Lauren and Madeline; his siblings Carolyn (Craig), Debbie (Dave), Felicia, Mike (April), Renee (Mike), LaDonna, and Bryan (Bert); his mother-in-law, Sue, and brothers-in-law Jeff (Karen) and Josh (Rachel) and many loving nieces and nephews on both sides of the family. He was preceded in death by his father, John, and his sister, Janeen; and his mother, Elizabeth, passed away shortly after John last week.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in John's name to suicide prevention efforts, the Hope Squad, or to do kind deeds for someone in need.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John David Howell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, October 22, 2022

4:00pm - 12:20 am (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Starts at 4:30 pm (Eastern time)

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