Robert L. Howell passed away peacefully at home with family in Leawood, Kansas on November 15, 2023. He was nearly 83 years old.
Robert was born near Rock Port, Missouri to Mary Dale and Frank Howell on January 15, 1941. He grew up in Rock Port, graduating as valedictorian of his high school class. Later he earned an electrical engineering degree from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota.
Robert married Marilyn Luhrs in 1963, initially meeting at a high school picnic. The couple proudly raised two daughters, Sarah and Ann. Family was always his top priority.
Robert worked in Minneapolis in the field of corporate development for 25 years before moving to UtiliCorp United in Kansas City in 1988, where he worked as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. During this time, he enjoyed serving as Chairman of UtiliCorp New Zealand, and serving on the boards of several other utility companies worldwide. He finished his career as Executive Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions for Duke Energy in Houston, Texas. He loved traveling the world for both business and pleasure.
Robert enjoyed many hobbies including photography, woodworking, flower gardening, golfing, hunting and competitive shooting. Listening to music of all types also provided him great joy. In retirement he served on various Atonement Lutheran Church committees, on the board of Blessings Abound, and as a business mentor for SCORE helping small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve.
Robert is survived by his wife, Marilyn, with whom he shared six decades of marriage; his daughter, Sarah Eason (Michael), of Prairie Village, Kansas, and grandchildren Caroline Ruth and Blake Howell; and his daughter, Ann Futch (Curt), of Park City, Utah, and grandchildren Annika Grace and Elsa Marie. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Frank Howell Jr. and Mark Howell, and his grandchildren, Elizabeth Sarah Eason and John Robert Eason.
Robert was known for his unwavering principles, kindness, and commitment to fairness in all interactions, all of which came from a strong foundation of Christian faith. His faith made it possible for him to battle multiple myeloma and, most recently, to live with Alzheimer’s disease. He left this world with a wish to pass on the words of St. Paul from Romans 8: 38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Services will be held on Saturday, November 25th at Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, Kansas. Please gather for visitation at 10:00 a.m., with services to follow at 11:00 a.m. A graveside service will follow at Hunter Cemetery near Rockport, MO at 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to either The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation or Atonement Lutheran Church Children’s Ministry.