Jan Jerome Howell, 84, long-time resident of Idaho Springs, peacefully passed away on July 20, 2019, at St. Anthony Hospital.
Jan was born on Feb. 7, 1935, in Macksville, Kan. His formative years were spent on the nearby family farm. In 1953 as a senior in high school, Jan qualified for the state track meet, where he was first in the mile race and became the state champion.
He attended the University of Kansas on a track scholarship, graduating in 1957 and named All-American in cross country running. He later earned a master's degree from the University of Colorado.
Jan came to Colorado after college, where he lived between teaching jobs in Germany. Jan married his wife Sue in 1963, and they settled in Clear Creek County.
In 1969, Jan was hired to be the physical education teacher in all three Clear Creek elementary schools. Jan traveled between Georgetown, Empire and Idaho Springs, finding creative ways to get kids active while having fun. Jan continued to teach PE at Carlson Elementary and coach cross-country running, cross-country skiing and track for Clear Creek Secondary for the next 20 years.
During the summer, Jan's family would travel back to the farm in Kansas to help with farming activities. Throughout his life, staying connected to the farm was very important to Jan.
Flying and airplanes were a big part of his life from 4 years of age until his death. His flying legacy is carried on by his sons and grandsons.
Jan is survived by his loving wife, Sue, of Idaho Springs; two sons, John, Nick and wife Susan; daughter Elizabeth and husband Steve Cleary; four granddaughters, Reagan, Ainsley, Sarah and Kennedy; and three grandsons, Liam, Alex and Jefferson.
A memorial service will be held at the United Church in Idaho Springs at 11 a.m. on Aug. 24, 2019. For those interested, a fun run/walk will be held at 9 a.m.
Published in Clear Creek Courant from Aug. 7 to Aug. 28, 2019.