Joy Lois Etheridge Howell was born on June 9, 1926 to Hampton Allen Etheridge Sr., and Minnie Moore Etheridge in Pugh, Arkansas. She was raised in Pugh and Hamburg, Ark., and graduated from Hamburg High School.
After graduating from Baylor University in 1948, she accepted a first grade teaching position in Marshall, where she taught until marrying Thomas D. “Rusty” Howell in December of 1951. They then moved to Kilgore, where she taught elementary school until 1969. In 1971, she moved with her family to Shreveport, La., where she lived until 1972 when the family relocated to Pittsburgh, Penn. In 1977, she and her husband moved back to Marshall, where they have lived until her demise on September 10, 2017.
Mrs. Howell is survived by her beloved husband of 66 years, Thomas D. “Rusty” Howell; her daughter, Leslie Howell Chambers; her son, Steve Howell; daughter-in-law, Marcia Leigh Howell, and son-in-law, Steve Chambers; grandchildren, Sam and Ben Howell, Hillary Sandlin, Trey Sandlin and wife Alex Sandlin, Emily Fulbright and husband Jacob Fulbright, and Christian Sandlin; great-grandchildren, Caroline Sandlin, Evelyn Harris and Lottie Joy Sandlin; sister, Helen Toole; brother, Raymond Etheridge; and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sister Mary Sawyer, and brothers Hampton Etheridge and James Etheridge.
Mrs. Howell was a lifelong devout Christian who loved her Lord above all else in life. She translated her deeply held faith into action through her church life, her teaching career, and her loving interactions with family and friends. Her love for her fellow man was boundless and she treated all people with respect, dignity and always imparted to them a sense of individual personal value that she wanted them to feel in their lives.
Her work as a member of the Board of Directors at East Texas Baptist University, founding of the Christian Women’s Club in Marshall, dedicated devotion to her church, the numerous women’s groups, foreign mission work, and bible studies that she chartered and led, and the personal counseling and deep involvement in the lives of those around her that she constantly pursued are a testament to the life of self-sacrifice and service to others she lovingly and joyfully she led.
After a private interment, a memorial service will be held for Mrs. Howell at Sullivan Funeral Home Chapel at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, September 13. Pallbearers will be Sam Howell, Ben Howell, Trey Sandlin, Christian Sandlin, Ron Walsh, and Jerry Berry.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be directed to East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas.