Joseph Woodrow Howell – Colonel, United States Air Force

From a contemporary press report:

Joseph W. Howell, 83, a retired Air Force colonel who worked in the Federal Aviation Administration’s research and development service from 1965 until retiring in 1979, died October 16, 2000,  in Sterling, Virginia, at the Falcon’s Landing Air Force retirement community after a stroke and heart attack.

He settled in the Washington area in 1959 and lived in Falls Church, where he was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church for 40 years, before moving to Sterling in 1998.

Colonel Howell, an Indiana native, was an electrical engineering graduate of Purdue University and received a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University.

He entered the Army Air Forces in 1941 and served as a bomber command pilot in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he served as an Air Force test pilot and graduated from the Air War College. He also had been an aircraft development director of the B-36 bomber and held a research and development post in Air Force headquarters before retiring from active duty in 1965.  Colonel Howell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Legion of Merit medals for his service.

He was a member of the Order of the Daedalians and a recipient of the Transportation Department’s Superior Achievement Award.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Martha, of Sterling; four sons, David, of Beltsville, Stephen, of Clifton, Richard, of Tucson, and Robert, of San Francisco; a daughter, Kathleen Pirruccello of Putney, Vt.; five grandchildren; and five great-grandsons.


On Monday, October 16, 2000, at Potomac Falls, VA, JOSEPH W. HOWELL of Falcons Landing Retirement Community, beloved husband of Martha Amelia Howell; father of Kathleen Pirrucello, David D., Stephen, Richard and Robert Howell; brother of Earl Howell and Cleo Nix. Also survived by five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and many other family members. Funeral services to be conducted on Monday, November 6, 2000, at 12:45 p.m. at the Ft. Myer Chapel. Interment Arlington National Cemetery. with full military honors. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of Northern Virginia, P.O. Box 1576, Merrifield, VA 22116, or the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 5216 Glen Allen, VA 23058.


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