Walter Brian Howell

April 27, 1943May 20, 2019

Walter Brian Howell, 76 of Raleigh, NC, died peacefully at home on May 20, 2019. He was born in Wilmington, NC, on April 27, 1943, the son of the late Walter Joseph and Lucille Walker Howell. He graduated from New Hanover High School. In 1961 he enrolled at North Carolina State University, graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering and then attended the University of North Carolina School of Law, graduating in 1969 with a Juris Doctorate.

Brian practiced law in Raleigh for 49 years beginning at the law firm of Harris, Poe, Cheshire and Leager, progressing to corporate practice where he was Associate General Counsel at CP&L (now Duke Energy). He then returned to private practice for over 40 years, retiring in 2017 after practicing with his son Cooper for 10 years, most recently at the firm of Hansen, Howell and Wilkie. He received the Best Lawyers in North Carolina designation in his primary practice area of Eminent Domain. He was a long-time member of Christ Episcopal Church where he served on the Vestry and taught adult Sunday School. He enjoyed his membership in the Sphinx Club, especially being able to attend the annual Feast with his son Brian. He was involved in a number of civic activities over the years, his favorite being serving on the Capital Area Soccer League Board of Directors during the period when the CASL Soccer Center was being developed.

Brian was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend. He spent many hours and weekends attending his 2 sons’ sports events, including going to many states and Canada for various soccer tournaments. He loved traveling to foreign countries with long-time friends, sitting on the porch watching the ocean at his cottage at Holden Beach, doing anything with his grandchildren, and admiring his annual spectacular Christmas tree and inflatables.

He fought a very brave and hopeful fight against cancer for 35 years. The family is grateful to Brian’s many friends, doctors and nurses, and other care team members for their love and support during his courageous battle.

Brian is survived by his wife Phyllis Cannon Howell; sons Walter Brian Howell, Jr, and wife, Misty Pickett Howell, and Thomas Cooper Howell and wife Cheryl Laughner Howell; and 5 grandchildren, Owen Mattocks Howell, Edward Carter Howell, Andrew Walker Howell, Addison McAlister Howell and Evan Cooper Howell, all of Raleigh. He is also survived by a brother H. Wayne Howell of Wilmington, NC, and brother-in-law John Mattocks Cannon, Jr., and wife, Mary Watson Cannon of West Jefferson, NC.

There will be a private burial service at Historic Oakwood Cemetery followed by a Memorial Service at Christ Episcopal Church, 120 East Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601 on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 2:00 pm. The family will receive friends after the Memorial Service in the Christ Church Commons.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Christ Episcopal Church, 120 East Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601 or Duke Cancer Institute, 710 West Main Street, Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, St. Mary’s Street, Raleigh, 919-828-4311.


  • Christ Episcopal Church
  • Duke Cancer Institute



  • Memorial Service with a Reception to Follow

    Wednesday, May 29, 2019


  • Private Burial


Walter Brian Howell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ashley & Bill Edwards

May 25, 2019

Cooper and Cheri,
You and your entire family are in our hearts and prayers.

Carol Golder

May 21, 2019

I so enjoyed listening to Brian brag about his grandchildren when I worked alongside him at Hansen Law Firm. He was such a kind and pleasant person who I will not forget.
Rest In Peace, Brian! 💕

Barbara Brown Smith

May 21, 2019

Phyllis, Brian, Jr. and Cooper,

What a wonderful individual has left this earthly life. Brian was such an avid supporter of soccer in the Raleigh area and touched so many young lives. Bert and I really appreciated his caring concern for all people. He will be missed by his entire family and many friends. We know, that with his illness, he is finally at peace. May God bless all of you and please know you are in our prayers.


Barbara Brown Smith