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Fred Howell, 62, Norwalk native, passed away June 9, 2013. He was born in Norwalk, Conn. on December 10, 1950, he was a son of the late Charles Franklin Howell and Ida Howell. He lived in Norwalk for over 50 years and maintained homes in Summerton, SC and Norwalk until his death at age 62.
Fred was an American original and free spirit. In many ways he was a Renaissance man. Early in life Fred worked as an oysterman which was a Howell family tradition since the 1800's. He was trained as a cabinet-furniture maker and wooden boat craftsman. He truly had golden hands. Many said he was more than a wood craftsman but that he was an artist because of the beautiful original free hand carvings he created on furniture and trim work. Fred was an accomplished mechanic when it came to building custom motorcycles. He also loved to develop original fine trim work in houses he built. Fred formed his home construction company, Howell Construction, in 1973 expanding into the construction of custom homes and modular houses. He built many homes in Fairfield County and South Florida ranging from modest to McMansions before retiring in 2003. He also owned a Harley Chopper Shop where he designed and built modified custom bikes at his F.H. Custom Chopper Shop in South Norwalk. In addition, He owned and operated F.H. Wooden Boat Restoration also located in South Norwalk. Fred was an entrepreneur and created and operated several other diverse businesses during his life.
Fred played classical piano and he also played guitar in a rock band. He loved to play chess, and was a golden gloves boxer as well as a talented sculptor. How Freddy loved his boats, classic cars, music and bikes, especially Harleys. In his retirement he devoted time to repairing the homes of elderly people personally providing free labor and materials. Among his many passions he loved dogs and had many as his pets over the years.
Fred was outgoing, kind, compassionate, generous, creative, a great story teller, funny, and he had an impeccable sense of comedic timing. He was always the life of the party and party he did. He truly enjoyed life. Fred had many friends from all walks of life. Most of all he was a devoted son, wonderful brother, a good friend to many, and was well loved.
Fred always defied convention and lived his life his way. He had more fun and adventures in his lifetime than most of people could fantasize about. He truly lived life to the fullest. He was a good man with a big heart.
Fred is survived by his mother Ida Howell; his brother, Charlie Howell, Charlie's wife, Sandy and his Aunt Tena. He is also survived by his nieces; Michelle, Jennifer and Jesse and his grand nephews: Brandon and Tristan. He will be missed by all.
A memorial service will be conducted to celebrate the life of Fred Howell at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, because of Fred's love of dogs, memorial may be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind (guide dogs), 611 Granite Springs Road, New York, NY 10598 (1-800-942-0149).
Please sign the online guestbook at
Published in The Hour on June 18, 2013