Varian H. Howell

July 4, 1925 ~ September 1, 2020 (age 95)


Varian (Hank) Henry Howell, 95, son of the late Ezra James and Grace Mary Kirch of Lyons Falls, NY passed away on September 1, 2020 at the Samaritan Summit Village, where he had been a resident for the past two years.

A private funeral service will be held on Saturday at Iseneker Funeral Home, Inc., Lowville, with Pastor Gary George officiating.  Burial will follow at Old Glendale Cemetary, Glenfield.  No calling hours will be held.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Lyons Falls Fire Department, 3907 High Street, Lyons Falls, NY 13368, or a charity of your choice.

Born in Glenfield, NY on July 4, 1925, Hank was one of seven children and graduated from General Martin School in Glenfield in 1942.  From 1942-1945 he served with the Navy Seabees in the Pacific Theatre.  He attended Associated Colleges of Upper NY in Plattsburg and graduated with an Associate Arts Degree in PreMed.  In 1948, he worked for Georgia Pacific in the laboratory and later as a machinist, retiring in 1987 after 39 years.

Hank was very civic minded.  He was a member of the Lyons Falls Fire Department, served on the Lyons Falls High School Board of Education, and was a Justice of the Peace for the Town of Lyonsdale for many years.  He was also a member of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, and had a strong Christian faith.  To this day, his four remaining children are actively involved in the church of their choice.

On February 24, 1949, Hank married the love of his life, Virginia (Ginny) Mary Reed in a ceremony held at St. Peter’s Church in Lowville, NY officiated by Monsignor Hogan.  The couple resided on Laura St. in Lyons Falls, NY, where they raised their five children.

As a “Jack of all trades”, Hank used his varied skills to help build his own home, including the carpentry, plumbing, electrical, heating, etc.  Hank never threw anything away if it could be fixed or repaired, and he had a gift for being able to fix just about anything.  If he didn’t have the right part, he used a lathe at Georgia Pacific during his breaks, and made one.  His parents, Ezra and Grace Howell, and his Aunt Toots (LaVerne Voll), made use of his expertise over the years. 

Hank was athletic and enjoyed playing basketball and softball in the earlier years of his marriage.  He enjoyed swimming, riding his bicycle to work, and was not only a member of the Brantingham Golf Club, playing with his partner, Dave Salmon for many, many years, but also was a member of a bowling league for Georgia Pacific.  At the Ninth Annual Northern NY Paper Mill Bowling Tournament, he won the high individual single with handicap honors. 

As a family, Hank loved spending time at his camp in Boonville, located on the Black
River, swimming, boating, fishing, and playing cards.  He and Ginny enjoyed many social get- togethers with close neighbors and friends over the years, which ultimately ended with good food and card playing.  In later years, they had lunch and played Euchre with Ginny’s family and his daughters, Kathy and Judy.

After their retirement, Hank and Ginny bought a house in Clermont, FL.  For nearly 30 years, they enjoyed time spent in Florida with their sons during the fall and winter months, and then time in Lyons Falls with their daughters during the spring and summer.

Hank is survived by three sisters-in-law, Betty Widrick of Croghan, Shirley (Hugh) Wood of Lowville, and Liz Howell of Rochester, and one brother-in-law, Phill Reed and his life- long partner, Steve Daby of Richland, two daughters, Kathy (Ron) Tepfenhart of Brownville, and Judy (Ron) Gilligan of Adams Center, and two sons, Rich (Renda) of Clermont, FL, and Bob (Tammy) of Orlando, FL.  He is also survived by his nephew, Gale (Diane) of Ontario, NY, who has remained close to him throughout his life.  Hank has 11 grand children, 14 great- grand children, and many nieces and nephews.  He is predeceased by his wife, Virginia (Ginny) Mary Reed Howell, of 67 years, an infant daughter, Madonna, a son, Doug, his parents, Ezra J. and Grace M. Kirch Howell, three brothers, James Sheldon, Lawrence Roswell, and John D., and three sisters, Anna Maxine Horvath, Ethelda M. Slack, and Patricia A. Gorczyca.

Condolences may be made online at

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Private Services

Iseneker Funeral Home, Inc.
5702 Waters Road
Lowville, NY 13367

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