Jack Odom Howell (Jack O), 81, of Valdosta, passed away on Monday, March 6, 2023, in Gainesville, FL. He was born on September 20, 1941 to Jack Elliott Howell and Wesley Louise (Pinkey) Odom Howell in Valdosta. He grew up in Valdosta, and graduated from Valdosta High School in 1959, where he played football, but he was most passionate about tennis. He then attended Valdosta State College where he continued to play tennis. Jack O started working at Eleanor Motor Company with his father, on September 1, 1952, when he was 11 years old. He continued to work there through high school and college. In 1961, Carolyn Farmer and her father were in the dealership to purchase a car, and that is where Jack O met Carolyn. Jack O asked Carolyn’s father permission to take his daughter for a coke and she agreed. They were married on November 25, 1962. Jack continued to work for the Ford dealership until he was drafted into the U.S. Air Force, where he served 4 years at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS and at Hickam AFB, Honolulu, HI. He returned to Valdosta and to work at the Ford Dealership, where he celebrated 70 years on September 1, 2022. Jack O started out washing cars at the dealership at the age of 11, and advanced to be part of the senior management team up until his death. He was devoted to Langdale Ford and thought everyone should drive a Ford. He was a shareholder in the Ocean Pond Fishing Club for over 35 years, and currently serves as a board member. He also served on the Long Pond Property Owners Association as a board member for many years. Jack O’s father was one of the original founding members of the Valdosta Wildcat Touchdown Club. Jack O followed in his footsteps and was a past president of the Touchdown Club. Jack O was a devoted elder and deacon at Morningside Baptist Church, where he has been a member since 1972. Jack O has taught the 4–5-year Sunday School class for 51 consecutive years.
Jack is survived by his wife of 60 years, Carolyn Farmer Howell, of Valdosta; son and daughter-in-law, Jack and Staci Howell, of Lenox, GA; son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Beth Howell, of Valdosta; grandchildren, Adrian Howell, Kirsten Howell, Sarah Ann Howell, Kaitlin Howell, and Kinsley Howell; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ruby and Melvin Lastinger; sisters-in-law, Jeanette Parkman, Gwenette Farmer, and Gloria Farmer; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his father-in-law and mother-in-law, John C. and Estelle Farmer, brothers-in-law, Julian Parkman, Wayne Farmer, and Harry Farmer, and an infant brother, William Wesley Howell.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, March 9, 2023, at Morningside Baptist Church with Dr. Wayne Robertson officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Hill Cemetery with Pastor Bryan Gay and Dr. Chuck Owens officiating. The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 5-7 pm at Morningside Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Morningside Baptist Church Building Fund, 425 Connell Road, Valdosta, GA, 31602. Condolences to the family may be conveyed online at www.mclanecares.com Carson McLane Funeral Home.