Lawrence “Larry” J. Howell, age 86, of Watertown, SD, passed away on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at Prairie Lakes Healthcare Center. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Watertown, SD. Fr. John Fischer will be the celebrant. Music will be provided by Jane Rokusek as organist and Blaine Martian as the song leader. Services will be Live-Streamed via the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel Facebook page.
Visitation will be at the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, from 5-7 p.m. and prior to the service at the church on Wednesday beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Burial will be at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 15, 2021, at the Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN. Honorary pallbearers will be all of Larry’s many friends. Active pallbearers will be: Thea Rogers, Zachary Rohde, Tanner Rohde, Dan Howell, Mark Howell and Brett Beyer.
Larry was born on December 26, 1934, in rural Elkton, SD, to Lawrence B. and Mary (Rickerl) Howell. He graduated in 1952 from Elkton High School as Valedictorian. On May 19, 1962, Larry married Judie Johnson and to this union three children were born: Pam, Deb, and Michele.
Larry proudly served in the South Dakota Army National Guard for 38 years. Thirty-five of his 38 years with the Guard was full-time duty in various positions culminating as a unit maintenance technician for the 1742nd Transportation Unit. While he wore the uniform every day as a National Guard Technician, Larry held a civil service position, serving primarily as the full-time representative of the unit’s commander. Among the awards that Larry earned during his service are: the Unit Citation for Service during the 1972 Rapid City flood, the Southwest Asian Service Medal with three stars earned during the unit’s mobilization to Operation Desert Storm in 1990, and the Legion of Merit, one of the highest decorations awarded during peacetime. Larry retired in 1994 with a rank of CW4 as a Chief Warrant Officer. During his career, Larry accompanied his unit to deployments in South Korea and Germany but the highlight of his long career was being part of the war against Iraq. The unit recently held a 30th anniversary celebration of that deployment where he got to reconnect with many of the men and women he served with, who greeted him with the respect he earned in his position.
Larry was active in the Watertown community as a member of the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Elks Lodge 838. He served in a variety of capacities in these organizations including Commander and Quartermaster of the VFW and as a Past Exalted Ruler and District Deputy of the Elks Lodge. In his spare time, he and Judie enjoyed traveling, often to see the grandchildren and other family, visiting every state in the nation except Hawaii. Larry voraciously read every newspaper he could get his hands on and followed the news closely to keep up with current events.
Larry is survived by his children: Pam Rogers (Joel Mullett) of Woodbury, MN, Deb Howell of Yankton, SD, and Michele (Kyle) Rohde of Yankton, SD; three grandchildren: Thea Rogers, Zachary Rohde and Tanner Rohde; and one brother Charles “Chuck” Howell of St. Paul, MN.
He was preceded in death by Judie, his wife of 58 years; his parents, Lawrence and Mary; his sister, Mary Ann Ambrosier; and several in-laws.
Memorials may be directed to Special Olympics, a Veterans Organization of your choice, or the Elks National Foundation or Watertown Elks 838 Youth and Charities fund.
Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel Watertown, Hayti, DeSmet and Bryant
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