Mr. Jack Murray Howbert
09/28/1929 - 09/22/2023
SOUTH HILL - Jack Murray Howbert, our Dad and Pappaw, passed away Friday Sept. 22, 2023. He was 93 and he lived a good life. He was about as fine a man as you’d ever hope to meet. He was a man of great faith, which sustained him throughout his life. He was a leader at Tabernacle Baptist Church, where he sang in the choir for many years and with a men’s group called The Joyful Noise. He served the church as a deacon. Dad was one of the few people you’d ever meet who lived up to the high moral standards we all set for each other. A native of Roanoke, Dad was born Sept. 28, 1929 to Irvin and Sadie Howbert. When he was a child, his family moved to West Virginia, where he grew up on the railroad yard, in Wilcoe. That shaped Dad’s life in many ways. After Dad graduated from Gary High School as the Class of 1947’s Salutatorian, he embarked on a long career with Norfolk & Southern Railroad that took him to Grundy, South Hill, back to Roanoke and finally, to Portsmouth, OH. Dad met the love of his life - our mom - Elaine Hancock, at a party when they both ended up in the kitchen washing dishes. After he married her, legend has it that Mom never had to wash another dish. They were partners in the truest sense of the word. He retired to South Hill and built a retirement home on land Elaine inherited along “Looney Lane” in the midst of all his wife’s brothers and sisters. They treated him like another brother and the family he married into was just as important to him as his own. Dad earned the nickname MacGyver because he could fix just about anything and the community learned about those skills quickly as evidenced by the number of lawnmowers in his shed that people brought him to fix. It was the most visible form of his Christian service. Fortunately, he passed those skills - and that ethos - on to his children. We all have our own toolboxes and everything! If you ever wanted to be entertained, you only needed to show up at the Howbert home and listen to one of the impromptu family sing-alongs that took place around the piano with Dad carrying the baritone part in unmistakable fashion. Jack Howbert was immensely proud of the four children he and Elaine brought into this world, the six grandchildren their children raised and the nine great-grandchildren that have come along in recent years plus two more in the pipeline. We could write an obituary two miles long and not run out of stories about the leader of our clan, but we’ll wait and share the best of them when we gather for visitation Sunday, from 2-4 p.m. at Crowder-Hite-Crews Funeral Home in South Hill and at his Celebration of Life service Monday at 11 a.m., also at the funeral home. Burial will take place at Crestview Memorial Park following the service. Dad was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, a sister and his wife. He is survived by four children, Katrina Howbert, of South Hill, Jack H. Howbert (Susie) of Chillicothe, OH, Mark Howbert (Mary) of Lebanon, OH, and Becky Whitfield (Johnny) of Louisburg, NC; six grandchildren, J.D. Howbert (Marie), Matthew Howbert, Chris Howbert (Alicia), Jeff Howbert (Connie), Anna Kate W. Frost (Michael) and Pitt Whitfield; and nine great-grandchildren plus two on the way. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift to Tabernacle Baptist Church, 23875 Highway 47, South Hill, Va. 23970 or to a charity of your choice in Dad’s memory. Online condolences may be made through our website, www.crowderhitecrews.com. Crowder-Hite-Crews Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Howbert family.
To publish a public condolence:
Complete the Name (your name),
Title (title your condolence message),
and Review (your condolence message).
Then click "Post Review" button to send (at bottom right).
15 reviews of this entry
At Crowder-Hite-Crews we’ve always been proud to say that we are large enough to serve and small enough to care. When you choose us, we consider this a sacred trust between your family and ours. We offer a full range of funeral service, whether for a traditional funeral or cremation, and we are able to assist families worldwide. In February of 2004 we installed a crematorium to better serve our cremation families. We now do all cremations in our facility, saving transport to another location for this service. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the cremation process.
Family owned and operated since 1972.
Situated on a 3-acre pastoral setting.
1st Place in Reader’s Choice for Funeral Service (17 years running).
Staff members are active in many civic organizations in the area, including Lions, Rotary, Moose Lodge, Masons, Ruritan, and Chamber of Commerce.
Owners are former Presidents of the Virginia Funeral Directors Association and Southside Funeral Directors Association.
We always help you apply for Social Security and Veterans benefits!
We also help with completing life insurance claim forms.