Gwen Howell

January 13, 1938July 29, 2012

Gwendolyn Avera Howell died at home on Sunday, the 29th of July 2012. She was 74.

Gwen was born on the 13th of January 1938. She grew up in San Angelo, Texas, where her parents, James and Virgilia Avera, were respected members of the community. Much of the strong independence that characterized Gwen throughout her life was grounded on her West Texas heritage.

Gwen attended Baylor University, where she promptly met and fell in love with Donald L. Howell. Knowing her own mind with uncommon clarity at age nineteen, she married Don the summer after her first year at Baylor, and they moved to Tokyo and then Hawaii while he served in the Air Force. Gwen's commitment to her marriage was confirmed over the years as she and Don created a lifetime partnership that brought them great joy.

Gwen's life centered on clearly defined commitments. She believed in education - for herself and others. Gwen received her PhD in English Literature from the University of Texas, where she was a University Scholar. She put her academic success to work in teaching English at the University of St. Thomas. Gwen had a gift for understanding poetry, and she was passionate about showing others, of all ages, the beauty and meaning of poetry.

In the late 1980's Gwen made a commitment to the landscaping business. She had developed an extensive rose garden at her home on Sunset Boulevard, which has been a source of great pleasure for her Southampton neighbors, who widely refer to Gwen as "The Rose Lady." Her fascination with this garden led to the establishment of Hampton Gardens, Inc., a full purpose landscaping service company, where Gwen specialized in the design and creation of rose gardens and English cottage gardens.

Above all other commitments, Gwen was dedicated to her family and friends. She supported Don's legal career and gracefully tolerated his work schedule. She also created a home that was a sanctuary for her family and friends - her back porch was always a place of repose for visitors to the Howells' home. As a dedicated mother and grandmother, she was fascinated with helping her children and grandchildren learn the English language.

Gwen Howell was an authentic and uncommon person. She was independent, widely read, interesting, funny and kind. Her family and friends will deeply miss her.

She is survived by her husband, Donald L. Howell; her children, Daniel Liege Howell, Alison Howell Malone and her husband, Michael C. Malone, and Anne Turner Howell; her grandchildren, Emory, Jennie, Patrick and Sam Malone; and a great granddaughter, Ramona Malone. She was predeceased by her grandson, Michael Key Malone.

Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o’clock in the afternoon until eight o’clock in the evening on Wednesday, the 1st of August, at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.

The funeral service is to be conducted at ten o’clock in the morning on Thursday, the 2nd of August, at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Avenue in Houston, where the Rev. J. Pittman McGehee is to officiate.

Honored to serve as pallbearers during Thursday’s services are Jim Avera, Jonathan Day, Dr. James Duke, Jr., Brian C. Howell, Hilton Howell, Michael C. Malone, Robert Randolph and Harry Reasoner.

Immediately following, the family is to gather for a private interment at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston.

In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions in Gwen and her grandson, Michael’s, honor may be directed to the Michael Key Malone Fund at Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer, 1349 Empire Central, Ste. 240, Dallas, TX, 75247, or via their electronic website at; or to Trees for Houston, P. O. Box 270477, Houston, TX, 77277.


Gwen Howell

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Brooke Blakely

April 30, 2013

I am very sorry to read about Gwen's passing. She was such a nice lady to me as a kid growing up across the street. Anne Turner, we lost touch more than 20 years ago - but I remember the time I spent with you and your family very fondly. Sending lots of love to you and yours.

Susan Matthews Clark

August 21, 2012

Anne Turner, I was so sad to hear of your mom's passing today (as well as that of your nephew). I have many fond memories of spending time in your parents home. Your mom was such a dear. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. Many hugs to you.

Amy Johnson

August 19, 2012

Did not know about your loss, or Brandon, mom, and I would have been there! Turner, loved you like a sister. Don, Brandon admired you as a father figure. My heart is broken that she and Michael passed. Michael has his grandmother there to watch over him. Gwen, always loved you, always will. You will always be in my heart as my friend & second mother.

Sheridan Coleman Ernstmeyer

August 11, 2012

Thank you for always being there with a laugh, a smile and many hugs. When I was a child, you provided my "other" home, where I was welcome, safe and loved. When I became an adult you lifted our relationship and were also my friend, sharing stories and remembrances. Many of my warmest and most precious memories come from a room in your house. Though not by blood, in my heart and in my mind you will ever be my Aunt Gwen. I will miss the sound of your voice and your laugh but most of all I will miss the warmth that surrounded me when I was near you. May we meet again in God's house.

Joal Harris Donovan

August 5, 2012

I had,unfortunately, lost touch with Gwen, a terrible personal loss for me. I remember our years together growing up in San Angelo. She was always an inspiration, a very special human being, full of humor, warmth, and uncanny wisdom. My love to you, Don.

Joan Fox

August 2, 2012

This morning I think of Gwen's kindness to friends and her lovely rose garden! May a God of Mercy reunite her today with her grandson in perfect peace.

Cedar Baldridge

August 2, 2012

All love to Mrs Howell and little Michael in Heaven- and to the the Howells left here on earth-
I feel priveledged to have known Mrs Howell and heartsick she and little Michael endured such sickness

August 1, 2012

With great admiration and deep affection our hearts are with you, Howell family.
Sylvia de Leon and Lynn R. Coleman
Washington, D.C.

Christina Westbrook

August 1, 2012

Gwen, you will make heaven a more interesting place with your wit, intelligence and irreverant humor!I've missed our conversations but will find a seat next to you one day - we will have much to catch up on. Blessings to your family. I am so sorry for their loss of you.

Brenda Strama

August 1, 2012

I am so sad to learn of Gwen's death, and of Michael's. I will always remember Gwen's charm and witt, and the joy that Michael brought to everyone who met him. I am so sorry I can't be with you at the Memorial.