Cover photo for JEANETTE HOWELL's Obituary
1926 JEANETTE 2020


January 26, 1926 — July 24, 2020

Mrs. Pearl Jeanette King Howell, lifelong Baptist and longtime resident of Panama City, passed away at her King’s Point home on the early morning of Friday, July 24th, 2020.  She was born January 26, 1926 in Lockhart, Mississippi the daughter of Charles James King, Sr. and Frankie Till King and moved to DeFuniak Springs, FL shortly thereafter. She lived in many places; Lockhart/Lauderdale, DeFuniak Springs, and Tallahassee among them, but for the last 53 years made her home, raised her children, and worked for the Bay County School system in Panama City.
She was a loving mother to her 2 sons, Charles Wayne Howell (1960-2002) and Mark Wade Howell (1964-1995) and their early deaths were the great sadness of her life. She was predeceased by her big brother, whom she adored, Charles James King, Jr. (1922-1997) and his wife Mary Carolyn Littlefield King (1924-1997) and her nephews Niles Nelson King, Sr. (1949-2015) and Charles James King III (1946-2017). Jeanette exalted family, but more than anything, she loved her boys, sowing great jealousy among the women in the family with the way she doted on the men in her life.
A graduate of Huntingdon College in 1948, Jeanette went on to receive a Master of Arts from FSU in 1956 and took graduate classes in science and education throughout her adult life. She took great pride in becoming the first female chemist for the Florida Department of Agriculture, at a time when women were often overlooked for such positions.  She was an educator and played a seminal role in the foundation of the Bay County Vocational-Technical School (today known as Tom P. Haney Technical Center) and serving as the Bay County Schools Director of Vocational, Technical and Adult Education. She worked for the Leon and Bay County School Districts for more than 26 years. Jeanette was a believer in providing educational opportunities for all students and that any student can demonstrate achievement, become a life-long learner, and a productive member of society. She took immense pride in her role as an educator and promoter of Vocational and Adult education.
Talented in many ways, Jeanette was a licensed real estate broker, enjoyed painting, planting, working in the yard, and being outdoors. She loved a buffet, frequently patronizing the Sonny’s BBQ, Golden Corral and Captain Anderson’s, eschewing TGI Friday’s as “too yuppie” for her. Jeanette loved dancing, fresh vegetables (except cooked carrots and canned tomatoes), didn’t think much of drinking except the occasional margarita and cherished family and friends who brought her fresh vegetables and other homemade delicacies from their gardens. Jeanette had the good fortune to travel widely and enjoyed visiting historical sites, cemeteries, and archives¬—normally doing a little shopping along the way—as she explored the world in her unrelenting pursuit of ancestral discovery.
She was a passionate genealogist—amassing a genealogical library that was truly second to none—and took great pleasure in tracing her family history, from her birthplace in Mississippi, through the Civil War and American Revolution, to her Mayflower descendants and further back to the far corners of Europe, often joking that her goal was to trace her roots back to the dawn of time. She made friends the world over, including relatives of ancestors generations ago in Switzerland and Austria. She was a proud member of; the National Society of Magna Charta Dames, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Jeanette was fiercely loyal, revered her family, and held strong opinions reflective of the era of her upbringing which were sometimes out of touch with modern norms. She was always forthright, no stranger to confrontation, and left little room for interpretation in what she believed and how she felt. Good or bad, friends would agree, you always knew where you stood with Jeanette.
No tribute to Jeanette would be complete without a nod to her fellow genealogists, past, present and future, whose friendship and camaraderie she cherished and who would appreciate a detailed and exacting record of her extended family. Among Jeanette’s survivors are; her nephew Christopher Till King and wife Penny of DeFuniak Springs, FL, her niece Rubye Holland “Holly” King Kroland and husband Allan of Campobello, SC; 6 great nieces and nephews; Charles James "Chip" King IV (1968) of Sandestin, FL, Catherine Cannady King Matthews (1972) and her husband Wilbur of San Antonio, TX, Niles Nelson King, Jr. (1976) and his wife Carla of Freeport, FL, Kristen King Howell (1979) and her wife Deanna of Maitland, FL, Sarah King (1988) and her wife Ashley of Quantico, VA, Daniel Elliot King (1990) of Brooklyn, NY and 9 Great-Great Nieces and Nephews; Cameron James King (1998), Carson John King (2001), Pete Van Howell (2002), Griffin Patrick King (2003), Mary Lamar McLeod Matthews (2003), Vance Washington Matthews (2005), Niles Nelson King III (2006), Rubye Ann Howell (2007), and Wilbur Lee Matthews III (2013) as well as many beloved cousins from Laurel, MS including; James Ely King, Jr., Mary Anne Carlisle Blanchette (Jon), Kay King Hall (Lewis), Jean King Haltom (Dayne), Lindy King Penny (Bill), and Kendall King Waggoner (Keith). It is to this family that Jeanette, the last King-family member of the ‘Greatest Generation’ passes the torch, leaving a legacy of courage, perseverance, fortitude, loyalty, and reverence of family. Jeanette was a strong, independent woman, a pioneer, a lover of family, and graced her family and friends with a rich and lasting heritage.
Funeral services were held Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 1:00 PM at Jerry Evans Chapel where a eulogy was delivered by her nephew, Chris King. She is buried in the Howell-King Family Plot in Magnolia Cemetery in DeFuniak Springs, FL. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you promote the cause of education that Jeanette held so dear and make a donation of your time or money for the benefit of the educational organization or scholarship of your choice.  Friends and family may go on line to  view obituaries, offer condolences and sign the guest book at

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

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