Charles M. "Chuck" Howell
April 20, 1938 - December 4, 2019
After 81 years full of family; friends, faith, duct tape, every kind of glue known to man, 1000’s of welding rods, and the ability to fix anything, Charlie knew his final project was to meet up with Jesus. He did just that on December 4th of 2019.
Charles was born April 20th, 1938 in Lexington, Nebraska, the youngest of seven children of Mark and Louise Howell. In 1941; when he was 3 ½ years old, the family moved to the Boise Valley, eventually settling in Wilder Idaho where they started their family farm. It was there, working the family farm that he learned his unequaled work ethic. Just old enough to drive, Charles would drive to Nampa each morning before school, to pick up Beet pulp to feed their farm animals.
In 1955 he met the love of his life, Barbara Ann Bolinger. They married on June 30th, 1957 at the age of 19.
In 1960, he moved to Virginia for diesel engine training while a member of the National Guard, and then returned back to the Idaho farm. In the fall of 1961, his unit was activated and slated to report to Berlin. Within 24 hours he was headed to Fort Lewis Washington, but due to his diesel training, he was deemed an asset there and did not have to report to Berlin. He remained at Fort Lewis for a year, teaching diesel mechanic classes.
In 1964, and after the births of daughters Cindy and Susan, the family moved to Ontario Oregon where he taught automotive classes at Treasure Valley Community College. It was while living in a friendly neighborhood, that his third daughter Diane was born. In 1971 continuing to excel and grow in his career, the family moved to Green River Wyoming, where he taught at Western Wyoming College. That stay only lasted 9 months, as the family had a chance to move back to Oregon where he was the Vocational Coordinator for the Union County Intermediate Education District in LaGrande for 7 years
In 1978 the family moved to Salem Oregon, where he became the Vocational Director for the State Dept. of Education, and leading the VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America) Program. He was also instrumental in bringing an automotive skills program to Oregon Community Colleges that is now known as the Ford Asset Program. He completed his career in education commuting between Salem and Portland after he became the Dean of the Automotive and Machining program at the Sylvania Campus of Portland Community College.
Although Charles retired in 1994 at the age of 56, he never really retired. The next 26 plus years had him continually working on projects, and helping many, many people out with whatever needed to be built or fixed. He was always just a phone call away, and it didn’t matter how far he had to go to help you out.
Charles was a beloved man of God, and will always be greatly missed and never forgotten by his family and friends.
Charles is survived by his devoted wife of 62 ½ years, Barbie. He is also survived by his three daughters: Cindy O’Neal (Pat), Susan Vettrus (Dan), Diane Jothen (David). His six Grandchildren; Luke, Kiersten (Tony), Ondi (Joshua), Paul, Sean (Laura Lynn), Brian (Kristin), and five Great Grandchildren; Eli, Boaz, Joanna, Grace and Elliot. He is also survived by three sisters; Janey (Elvin), Dorothy, Charlotte, and many others that called him Grandpa Chuck.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday February 1st at 1:00pm at Solid Rock Community Church. 3535 Ward Dr. NE Salem, OR 97305.
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