Jamie W. Howell, Sr., 86

Published 1:22 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Jamie W. Howell, Sr. of Pope died peacefully in Collierville, TN, on May 7, 2024.

Mr. Howell was born on March 14,1938 in Sumner to Burtrum Hy Howell and Ollie Baker Howell. As a child, Jamie was reared in Pope as the only boy of six children. Having five sisters shaped Jamie into a man who was very respectful and protective, if not downright partial, to the women in his life. All his life, Jamie had a soft spot for the fairer sex, even though he was a tough, athletic guy.

After a private graveside service in Pope, visitation will held be from 1  to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, immediately followed by a funeral service/celebration of life at 3 p.m. both at the Fine Arts Auditorium on the campus of Northwest Community College, 4975 Hwy 51 N, Senatobia, MS 38668.

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Speaking of athletics, Jamie Howell was a natural! After starring at Pope (MS) High School in every sport, Jamie went on to play three sports (basketball, baseball & track) at Northwest Junior College in Senatobia, MS where he became an All-American as both a point guard in basketball and a centerfielder in baseball. As basketball team captain his sophomore year in 1958 at NWCC, he led the team in scoring and was named Best Offensive and Best Defensive Player! That year Jamie was drafted to play pro baseball by the Baltimore Orioles but he chose, instead, to further his education and athletics at The University of Mississippi.

During his two years at Ole Miss, Jamie started both years at point guard for the basketball team and in centerfield on the baseball team. In 1960, he was named All-SEC after the Rebels won the Southeastern Conference baseball championship. One of his greatest moments as a Rebel came when he hit a 2-run walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth to beat Notre Dame 3-2 in Oxford. This is the feat that earned him the nickname “Home Run,” which followed him the rest of his life. Jamie’s time at Ole Miss was very special and he was blessed that many of his team mates became lifelong friends (who stood by him until the end.)

Upon his graduation from Ole Miss with a B.S. and a Masters Degree, Major League Baseball again came calling-this time it was the Philadelphia Phillies. Jamie had his bags packed and was headed to Spring Training when his new wife and high school sweetheart, Jerry (Taylor) Howell, came to the door with tears in her eyes. This is all Jamie needed to see. He unpacked his car, went inside, and never gave pro baseball another thought. He had a family to care for that loved him!

Mr. Howell channeled his energy into becoming a top-notch coach, school principal and administrator. As a coach, he held the following jobs: Ole Miss Freshman Basketball Coach (1960-61); Holmes Junior College Men’s Basketball & Baseball Coach (1962-64); Ashland (MS) Attendance Center School Principal, Boys & Girls Basketball and Baseball Coach (1964-1970) where he took both the boys and girls teams to the State Tournament in 1967, with his girls team winning his first state championship as a coach; Magnolia Heights School (Senatobia, MS), Headmaster, Boys & Girls Basketball and Baseball Coach (1970-1976).

In 1977, Mr. Howell left the education field to serve the State of Mississippi for four years as Motor Vehicle Comptroller in the administration of his childhood friend, Governor Cliff Finch. He was then tapped to serve as the Director of the Vocational Skills Training Program with the Batesville (MS) Job Corps Center. While at that job, he was able to resume his coaching career at Magnolia Heights School where his  nationally ranked 1985 girls basketball squad won the MPSA AA and Overall (All Divisions) State Championship with a perfect 37-0 record.

In 2010, Mr. Howell was named to the Mississippi Community & Junior College Sports Hall of Fame in three sports for his accomplishments while at Northwest Community college. Mr. Howell has also been honored to serve NWCC as a member of the board of trustees for the last 44 years.

Even with all these sports achievements, Jamie’s greatest pride and joy was his family-his wife, Jerry, who predeceased him, and his children Jamie W. “Jim” Howell, Jr. (Ann) of Memphis,  and Susan H. Cascio (Chris) of Southaven,  his grandsons Ford Howell (Katie) of Memphis, Knox Cascio and Quinn Cascio of Southaven and his only grand daughter, Emma Howell of Nashville.

Jamie loved attending all of his grandchildren’s events-sports or otherwise.Even though the boys had lots of ballgames, “Papaw” never let Emma feel like she was forgotten, in fact, as was his way, he often made her feel the most special of all. Mr. Howell loved his children’s spouses: Chris Cascio and Ann Howell. Even in his last days he repeatedly made reference to and complimented his children’s choices of them as spouses. He always treated them like they were his own children.

Mr. Howell was a believer in the Lord, Jesus Christ, and recognized him as his one true savior. Over the years, he served his churches as a deacon and sang in the choir. Mr. Howell enjoyed attending Hosanna Family Worship Center in his hometown of Pope, MS where he served as  Town Mayor all the way up until the date of his death. He loved his town and the people he worked with there.

Mr. Howell was predeceased by his parents and four of his sisters. In addition to his children and grandchildren, he is also survived by a sister, Vontice H. Lambert of Pope,  numerous nieces and nephews and a very special friend, Martha Taylor, of Senatobia,  all of whom he loved very much. Mr. Howell’s family would like to thank the staff at BMH-DeSoto in Southaven and Baptist Reynolds Hospice House in Collierville, TN for their care and compassion in Jamie’s final days.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to: Magnolia Heights School, 1 Chiefs Drive, Senatobia, MS 38668; Northpoint Christian School, 7400 Getwell Road, Southaven, MS 38672; or Northwest Community College, 4975 Highway 51 North Senatobia, MS 38668.

Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23