James “David” Howell age 79, of Ft. Walton Beach, FL passed away peacefully at home on June 27, 2018. He was born on August 10, 1938 in Sylacauga, AL to Everett and Ivanee Howell. He was married on June 3, 1960 to Beth Richardson Howell. He was raised in Tuscaloosa, AL and attended the University of Alabama.
David was employed by Gayfers Department Store for 30 years. As manager of Gayfers in Santa Rosa Mall he always felt blessed with the people he worked with and often said, “The reason for our success is directly related to the quality of our associates.”
David served on several boards and civic committees. He was most proud and honored when the FWB Chamber of Commerce named him the most outstanding civic leader of the year for Okaloosa County. He was Episcopalian by faith. He served on the vestry at St. Simon’s and was Senior Warden five times. He was also active in the diocese serving on the Standing Committee, the Search Committee to elect a bishop, the Commission of Ministry and chaired the Cursillo Commission. He had such a strong faith and was quite devoted to his church family. His hobbies included golfing, fishing, following college athletics and spending time with his beloved family.
Survivors include his loving wife, Beth of 58 years; his daughter, Donna Born and her husband, Charles. His pride and joy were his three grandchildren, Whitney, Chad and Ryan Born all of Jacksonville, FL. To them he says, “Don’t concern yourself with being the best; but by being the best you can be!” He is also survived by his three sisters, Cathy Bell(Roddy), Janet Weller and Mary Drummond, all of Texas; his brother in law, Dr. Luther Richardson (Sissy) of Tuscaloosa, AL and his sister in law, Nancy McKinnie (Jim) of Burnsville, NC.
A service will be held at St. Simon’s on Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. followed by a Celebration of Life in the church Parish Hall. Arrangements are under the direction of Davis Watkins Funeral Home, Ft. Walton Beach, FL. The family would also like to thank Emerald Coast Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Bishop Duvall Cursillo fund at P.O. Box 13330, Pensacola, FL 32591-3330; The Safe Connection (formerly known as the Ben Gordon Visitation Center) P.O. Box 436, Shalimar, FL 32579; or St. Simon’s Counseling Center Scholarship Fund, 28 Miracle Strip Pkwy, Ft. Walton Beach, FL 32548.
To his many friends and family members he says, “Don’t cry for me down there; things are great up here! ROLL TIDE!”
~ REMEMBER ME ~