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Norman B. Howells

July 27, 1924 September 7, 2009
Norman B. Howells
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Obituary for Norman B. Howells

PEORIA-Norman Bruce Howells, 85, of Peoria, died on Monday, September 7, 2009 6:38 p.m. at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. He was born on July 27, 1924 in Cleveland, OH to Samuel Logan and Carmelita Harms Howells. He married Mary Jo Hatfield on August 24, 1968 at St. Philomena Catholic Church in Peoria. She survives. Also surviving are sisters, Gloria ( Mrs. V. N.) LaBrosse and Barbara Howells both of Houston, TX; sister-in-law, June (Mrs. Harold W.) Howells of Pekin; nephew, David (Mrs. Kathy) LaBrosse of Katy, TX; niece, Paula Howells of Petaluma, CA. He was preceded in death by one brother, Harold W. Howells, nephew, Rand Stephen Howells and great-nephew, Army Specialist George Robert Obourn, Jr. Norman was graduated from Warren Easton High School, New Orleans, LA in 1942. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval R.O.T.C. at Tulane University and graduated in 1945 as an Ensign with his BSME from the College of Engineering. He was selected for the U.S. Naval Diesel School at Raleigh, North Carolina State University. In 1946, he was aboard the ship enroute to the invasion of Japan. Two days before arrival in the Philippines, the Atom Bomb was dropped. At the end of World War II, he returned to New Orleans by way of the Panama Canal. He came to Peoria and was hired as a Research Engineer at Caterpillar. During the Korean Conflict, a member of the U.S. Naval Reserves, he was sent to Newport News, VA for a Sub Ship Training course, then as a Second Lieutenant assigned to Manitowoc, WI as Resident Supervisor of Ship-building of all wooden mine sweepers and delivered one past Peoria, then down the Mississippi River to Algiers, LA. He returned to Caterpillar Research Division, then retired January 1, 1985 after 30 years of services. Norman was a 50 year member of Westminster Presbyterian Church where he served as a Deacon, an Elder and on the Christian Education Committee. Diagnosed in 1980 with Multiple Sclerosis, he served as a Director for the Illinois River Valley Branch of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Chairman for the Peoria Area Support Group. He was instrumental in bringing the M.S. Swimming Program to Peoria. Norman was a lifetime member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and served as Chairman of the Central Illinois Chapter. He was a member of the Peoria County Old Settlers Association, Friends of the Library and YMCA Y’s Men’s Club, and Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Having taken studies in Music, Economics, and Engineering for several years, he was also an alumni of Bradley University and a member of Central Illinois Bradley Alumni Club. Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, September 14, 2009 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1420 W. Moss Ave. with Rev. Roger Ruhman officiating. Visitation will be one hour before the services at the church. A luncheon will follow the services at 12 Noon at Fellowship Hall. Cremation rites will be accorded. Burial of ashes will be in Parkview Cemetery at a later date. Wright & Salmon Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 809 Detweiller Drive, Suite 815A, Peoria, IL 61615, Westminster Presbyterian Church or Bradley University. Tributes and condolences may be submitted to


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