Home Obituaries Rebecca Howell

Rebecca Howell

ELLERBE — Ina Rebecca Howell (Becky) died on June 18, 2019, at her home in Ellerbe, where she was born on Dec. 6, 1923. 

She was the loving, faithful daughter of Dr. William Lawrence Howell and Ina Parsons Howell, of Ellerbe. Becky was preceded in death by her parents; four siblings, Mary Hunter Howell (infant), Thomas Parsons Howell, William Lawrence Howell Jr. of Raeford, and James Baldwin Howell of Greensboro; and nephew William Lawrence Howell III of Woodruff, South Carolina. 

Surviving her are loving nieces and nephews and their spouses: Kristin Howell, David Howell (Charlotta), Ann Howell Pate (Warren), Tom Howell (Kim), Winborne Howell Gautreaux (Tim), and Shirley Howell, widow of W.L. Howell III; as well as 10 great nieces and nephews, their spouses, and 17 great-great nieces and nephews. Becky, surrounded by her large family, celebrated every summer at Wrightsville during Howell Beach Week. She was the guardian of the Howell and Parsons family history and memories. She loved to travel, returning gladly to Richmond County, where her home was always open.  

Becky was a proud 1944 graduate of Salem College with a B.A. in English and French. She received her M.A. Degree in English from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1945. After teaching at Piedmont Junior High School in Charlotte (1946-48) and Maxton High School (1948-50), she returned to the Howell family home in Ellerbe, the place she loved. She taught English at Rockingham High School for 20 years and then at Richmond Senior High School for six, retiring in 1978 from 30 years of service to public schools in North Carolina. She took great pleasure in the successes of her former students and valued the camaraderie of fellow teachers in Delta Kappa Gamma. Becky was active in the N.C. English Teachers’ Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. Her family was always amazed at her memory of the former students she met when we were anywhere in Richmond County.  

In retirement, Becky served on the boards of the Kemp Memorial Library Group and the Rankin Museum of American Heritage in Ellerbe.


Becky joined Ellerbe Methodist Church when she was 10 years old and remained faithful to God and the Ellerbe Methodist Church her entire life. She was generous with her time, her talents, and her gifts. Just as her mother had raised funds to build a new Ellerbe Methodist Church building  by baking doughnuts and turkey suppers, Becky made countless Dr. Bird cakes for bake sales. She played the church piano and organ for about 66 years, directed the choir for about 38 years, taught Sunday school, served on the Administrative Council, the Board of Trustees, and led the United Methodist Women for over 40 years. Even her family could not lure her away from Ellerbe United Methodist Church on an Easter Sunday. 

Funeral  services for Becky will be conducted by the Rev. Elizabeth Polk at Ellerbe United Methodist Church, 2281 N. Main St., on Sunday, June 23 at 3 p.m. The family will receive Becky’s friends in the church parlor from 2 p.m. until the service. Burial will follow the service at the Parsons Cemetery, Cartledge Creek  Road. Becky’s family recognizes the blessings of loving care given to Becky in her last years by a team of caregivers: Tanya Mauldin and her daughters ( Mykayla, Jordyn, and Bella), Darlene Covington, Denise Quick, Vicki Covington, Teresa  Graham, Peggy Covington, and Mary Lopez.  

Designated memorials may be given to Ellerbe United Methodist Church, Kemp Memorial Library, Ellerbe, or Rankin Museum, Ellerbe.

Online condolences may be made at www.watson-kingfuneralhome.com. Watson-King Funeral Home in Rockingham is serving the Howell family.


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