Ralph Howell of Sag Harbor and Fountain Hills, Arizona, died September 25 at Southampton Hospital after battling a long illness. He was 81.
Born in Wewoka, Oklahoma, to Preston and Vernest Faye Howell, Mr. Howell served in the military from 1949 to 1955. He enlisted in the National Guard and was deployed during the Korean conflict on active duty. When his initial tour was completed he reenlisted for an additional three years and spent his time in Korea and Japan. He was awarded the Army Occupational Medal (Japan); Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Star and the United Nations Service Medal. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1959 and was a member of the Oklahoma Phi Kappa Psi.
After graduation he left to live and work in Arizona. He worked for a time as an escrow officer for several mortgage companies. He retired from Bank of America in the early 1990s. In 1998 he opened a real estate brokerage, Ralph Howell & Associates, and continued to work as a real estate broker and construction inspector for various banks. He retired again in 2006 and moved to Sag Harbor, where he was a member of the Sag Harbor American Legion and VFW. He was an avid reader, bird watcher, fly fisherman, bocce player and traveled extensively.
Survivors said his Native American heritage was apparent in his quiet, sensitive approach to all life matters. His interests included all things natural and he was a member of The Nature Conservancy. Survivors said he lived a wonderful, rich life through his travels and his ability to make friends easily throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and, most of all, in Ireland.
Mr. Howell is survived by his wife, Anne, and her children, Charles Dorego, Paul Dorego and Denise O’Malley; and six grandchildren. He also leaves several nieces and nephews in Texas, Washington state and California.
Memorial visitation, with military honors, will be on Saturday, October 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton.