SALEM, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Jack Herbert Howells passed peacefully on Sunday, May 7, 2023, in Salem, Ohio surrounded by his loving family.

Jack was born on the family farm in Winona, Ohio on July 30, 1934 to Herbert C. Howells and Virginia Lillian (Schneltzer) Howells.

He graduated from Salem High School in 1952 and was a proud Quaker alumnus often gathering with and hosting his fellow classmates. He attended Mount Union College and Youngstown College, now Youngstown State University graduating in 1958 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering.

Jack had the great fortune of attending a dance at Lake Placentia in 1956 and made the acquaintance of a young lady from Carroll County. On June 21, 1959, he married Margaret Ann Ralston of Carrollton. The love affair continued for over 63 years. 

Jack started his professional career with the Ohio Department of Transportation immediately post college as the project engineer for the interstate 77 project from Nimishillin Creek to the Akron-Canton Airport lasting 1958-1962. In 1962, he was then employed by the Ohio Pump Company which was subsequently purchased by Sterling Salem. In 1962 he became a Professional Engineer and received his Professional Surveyors license in 1971. In 1963 Jack, along with college friend and classmate Donald Baird, started Howells and Baird, Inc. Professional Engineers and Surveyors. The firm’s first project was designing the dam to separate the lakes at The Salem Country Club. In 1966 Howells and Baird moved to their long-time office location at 417 East State Street in downtown Salem. Jack was a “serial entrepreneur” and started a general contracting/construction firm, J. Herbert Construction, in 1982. Both companies continue successfully, J. Herbert under the direction of his daughter, son-in-law and grandson. Always looking for new ventures he started Midwest Minicranes Inc in 2010 which fed some of his entrepreneurial spirit in semi-retirement.

Always civically minded and one of Salem’s biggest fans, Jack was a long time member of Salem Rotary, serving as co-chair of the Bicentennial Mini-Park Committee, served on the board of the Salvation Army, served as president of Salem Area Industrial Development Corporation (now Sustainable Opportunity Development Center Inc) and was instrumental in the development of the Salem Industrial Park. In 1996 he was honored to be awarded The Salem Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year. He was legendary in his ability to sell (coerce) ticket sales for the Chamber’s annual reverse raffle fundraiser. He was a former member of the Mid-Ohio Region of Consulting Engineers, the Salem Golf Club, the Salem Country Club, serving as board president in the 1970s and many antique and classic car clubs.

He was a long-time member of Bunker Hill United Methodist Church and served as their finance chair for many years.

Jack and his family enjoyed traveling the country in their motorcoach but his real passion was for the classic automobile. He meticulously restored several award-winning classics including two 1933 Packards, a 1948 Diamond -T pick up, a 1936 Ford pick-up and several works in progress.

Jack’s biggest accomplishments and his greatest legacy is undoubtedly his family. He was a fantastic, encouraging, loving cheerleader of a father not only to his children but to everyone he met. His influence ranged far and wide, making an impact on everyone, be it a personal or family friend, a friend of one of his children or grandchildren, a business contact or associate. He believed in you, even if you did not. His interest was sincere and his enthusiasm contagious.

Jack will be deeply missed by those who survive, his bride of 63 years Margaret Ann; four daughters, Shelby (Scott) Mingus of Salem, Jill (Patrick) McNicol of Leetonia, Anne (John) Weeks of North Canton and Renee ( James) Metcalf of Chicago and Miami Beach; nine grandchildren, Grant (Anne) Mingus, Morgan (Ryan) Kiko, Margaret McNicol, Henry McNicol, Sara (Matthew) Weeks-Jones, Timothy Weeks, Halle Weeks, Madelynne Blank and Jack Blank; four great-grandchildren; his beloved sister, Mary Ann Lyden; brother-in-law, Carl Ralston and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his grandchildren, Adam, Anthony and Abigail McNicol. 

A funeral service will be held Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Bunker Hill United Methodist Church.

Friends and family will be received Tuesday, May 9, 2023 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Stark Memorial and Wednesday, May 10 one hour prior to the service, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m., at the church.

Memorial contributions can be made in his memory to Bunker Hill Methodist Church, 15096 W. Middletown Road, Beloit, OH 44609 or the Salem Rotary Foundation, PO Box 1025, Salem, OH 44460.

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A television tribute will air Tuesday, May 9 at the following approximate times: 6:47 a.m. on WYTV, 9:43 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.