Elmo H. Howell

August 5, 1918October 3, 2013
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Elmo H. Howell of Bartlett was born in 1918 in Itawamba, MS. He attended the University of Mississippi and took the B.A. degree in 1940; In 1947 he took the M.A. degree from the University of Florida and the Ph.D. in 1955. Mr. Howell taught English at Jacksonville State College at Jacksonville, Alabama from 1955 to 1957, when he came to Memphis State University, where he taught for the next 26 years., retiring in 1983. In retirement, Mr. Howell published three travel guides, to the State of Mississippi; and several volumes of poetry. He was survived by his nieces, Janet Roberts of Red Bay, Alabama, Sarah Walker of Fulton, Mississippi and Nancy Wilson of Hickory, North Carolina; nephew, Richard Dyer of Tupelo, Mississippi; host of great nieces and nephews; longtime friends and caregivers, Clayton Robertson of Memphis and Roscoe Langford of Bartlett. The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 pm, Sunday, October 6, 2013 at Memphis Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens, 3700 N. Germantown Rd., Bartlett, TN. A funeral service will be held at 12:00 noon, Monday, October 7, 2013 at Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church in Tremont, Mississippi with a visitation to begin at 11:00 am. The interment will follow at Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church Cemetery.


  • Visitation Sunday, October 6, 2013
  • Funeral Service Monday, October 7, 2013

Elmo H. Howell

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October 8, 2013

He was a fine Southern gentleman. I enjoyed sitting in on his Southern Lit class many semesters ago. Thank you, Dr. Howell. Mary Stagg

I was happy to have someone as good as he in a nearby office in the English Building. Charles Stagg

Heather Mihalick

October 7, 2013

I'm so very sorry for your loss. You're family is in my prayers. Celebrate his wonderful life and the great times you spent together.

October 7, 2013

In grateful memory of and thanksgiving for my friend, the professor and poet Dr. Elmo Howell, I offer these words from the heart and pen of another:


For half a century I have been translating my thoughts into prose and verse; history, philosophy, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode, and song; all of these have I tried. But I feel that I haven't given utterance to the thousandth part of what lies within me. When I go to the grave, I can say as others have said, 'My day's work is done.' But I cannot say, 'My life is done.' My day's work will recommence the next morning.

The tomb is not a blind alley. It is a thoroughfare. It closes upon the twilight, but opens upon the dawn.

-Victor Hugo (1772-1821)

Carolyn Fitzgerald Rodgers

Nancy Bilderback

October 5, 2013

It was with great sadness that I discovered the death of Dr. Howell. I had the honor of having 3 English literature classes under his amazing instruction. My favorite was the Southern literature course. My daughter is a senior at Ole Miss and I always think about his fondness for the school. He was truly a Southern gentleman and his family has my deepest sympathy.

Corey Mesler

October 5, 2013

Dr. Howell was my favorite teacher when I attended Memphis State in the 70s. His passion for literature was inspiring and it is not overstating things to say that the life I have made for myself--writer, bookseller--is partially due to him. I was honored to know him after school as well by selling his numerous books through my bookstore. Rest in peace, Dr. Howell. You are missed.

Brenda Clay

October 4, 2013

"But give me a fair morning and a road winding down to the country I know" - Thinking of your family during this difficult time.

Andrea Wondrak

October 4, 2013

So very sorry for your loss. Prayers and love are with you.

Sherri Biederman

October 4, 2013

My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.

Kay Montgomery

October 4, 2013

Dr. Howell - Elmo will be missed. His books and life showed a love for the Mississippi hills that is shared by many. I treasure the memory of taking him and Lucille Clark Whitworth to Tremont and wandering through Mt. Pleasant cemetary and through Kennedy Chapel Cemetary. Hearing stories of his childhood visits to my Grandma Hiden's house was a special treat. Our condolences to all who shared his life.
Kay Whitworth Montgomery and
Lucille Clark Whitworth