We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Claytor Rollins Funeral Home and Crematory
On June 10, David Howell was suddenly taken away from his earthly home and his loving family. He was a young 92 years old. David was born in San Diego, CA on March 27, 1930. He attended San Diego State for one year while serving in the Naval Reserve as a fireman apprentice. He then was accepted into the class of 1953 at the United States Naval Academy. Upon graduation, David was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the United States Air Force.
His military career took him to many states and foreign countries. He served in Vietnam for a year in 1968 during the Tet Offensive and returned again for a three month tour in 1972. During his total time there, David flew 280 missions for 12,354.5 combat hours as a navigator in AC47 and C130 gunships. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star. Among his many other awards was the Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters. Earlier in his Air Force career, David was a missile launch officer, during which time he earned his Masters degree. His last assignment was as Chief of Cost and Economic Analysis for the Tactical Air Command.
After retirement from the Air Force, David worked at the Newport News Shipyard as a Nuclear Materials Engineer for 14 years. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Barbara, and daughters Beth Groundwater and Cynthia Howell. His son, Rick, died in 1994. He is also survived by five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
David enjoyed hiking mountain trails with his wife. A good hike was 8-10 miles. They hiked in all weather, staying in lodges or cabins, and visited all 50 states. He loved to body surf and did so in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Gulf of Mexico.
David and Barbara moved to the Chesapeake Retirement Community in 2013. He was blessed with many friends there and a good life. A Celebration of Life will be held 2:00 p.m. July 18 at the Chesapeake. A service will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery
Arrangements and heartfelt guidance through Claytor Rollins Funeral Home.
Online condolences to claytorrollins.com.