Idaho State Journal, 07/29/2012
FISH HAVEN, Idaho — Leon Virgin Howell, 84, was born December 17, 1927, in the home now known as Gladys’ Place in Fish Haven, Idaho, to William Alfred and Alicia Naomi Virgin Howell. He was the youngest of six siblings: Geren (Liselotta), Shirla (Don Fry), Vearlee (Anneliese), Donovan (Carol), Rayola (Earl Wheelwright) and Leon (Renee). At six, he started school in the two-room Fish Haven School with five other classmates. He followed two brothers into the service of his country and was a veteran of World War II and two tours in Korea where he helped fire some 39,000 artillery shells at North Korean targets. He was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, the Army of Japan Medal, and the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars and the United Nations Service Medal.
Leon’s church duties were many, including ward and stake positions in the Sunday School, Elders Quorum and MIA. He was Ward Executive Secretary and also taught the Gospel Doctrine class for more than 35 years. Through the G.I. Bill, he was educated at Ricks College and Utah State Agricultural College, now Utah State University, where he gained a Masters of Education degree. First teaching in Portland, Oregon, then Logan, Utah, he moved his family back to Bear Lake where he taught and was a principal or counselor in Bloomington, Paris and Montpelier. He spent decades of summers at Minnetonka Cave, guiding tours through both the public areas and lesser known tunnels. Community service was his passion, driving him to form, chair and fund the Fish Haven Cemetery District and the Fish Haven Area Recreational Sewer District. He served multiple years as a director of the Fish Haven Pipe Line Company and Fish Haven Water Users Company . The Lions Club, the Selective Service Commission, the County Ambulance Service and other citizens’ groups benefitted from his dedicated attention and time.
When Leon passed away on July 20, 2012, at his home on the shores of Bear Lake, he was survived by his wife Elva Renee Roberts Howell, three weeks before their 62nd anniversary on August 11th. They had three children, Kathi (Edwin Izatt), Craig Leon Howell and Pamela (Martin Halverson). There are four grandchildren, Kimberlee (Cameron Holzer), Daimian (Jennifer Parkin) Izatt, Sydney Halverson and Mitchell Halverson. His six great-grandchildren are Jordan, Austin and Kourtney Holzer and Logan, Cason and Raisa Izatt. One sister, Rayola Wheelwright, also survives him.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. in the St. Charles Ward LDS Chapel, St. Charles, Idaho. Visitations will be Wednesday evening, August 1, at Matthews Mortuary, 702 Clay Street, Montpelier, Idaho, from 6 to 8 p.m. or prior to services on August 2, at the St. Charles Ward from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Interment will be in the Fish Haven Cemetery.
Services under the Direction of Matthews Mortuary, 702 Clay Street, Montpelier, Idaho, 83254.