Howland, Jeffrey Charles
June 30, 1958 - May 11, 2021
Jeffrey Charles Howland died suddenly at home in the arms of his wife, Lynn, after a quiet but fiercely determined battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and a subsequent lung transplant. Jeff had an inherent warmth, an infectious smile, an openness and a quick wit that drew people towards him. When describing Jeff, friends, family and colleagues spoke of his honesty, integrity, brilliance, loyalty, compassion and love. He was also a tremendous amount of fun.
Jeff was born on June 30, 1958 in Red Bank, New Jersey to George William Howland, Jr. and Dorothy Eagleson Howland. He grew up on the ocean in Rumson, New Jersey and shared a lifelong love of the sea with his mother. He was the fifth of seven children, 15 years younger than his only brother and sandwiched between his five sisters. His younger sisters remember careening down their steep front yard on sleds and go carts. His older sisters recall him spying on their dates and reporting back to their parents
When Jeff was thirteen, his family moved to Myrtle Beach, SC. Six weeks after he turned seventeen, Jeff flew to Tulane University where, in his own words, he majored in the "French Quarter." Sophomore year found him at Wake Forest University where he graduated with a B.A. in Economics in 1979 and made lifelong heart friends.
In 1982, Jeff graduated with a Juris Doctor (cum laude) from the University of South Carolina Law School while working to support himself. He began his legal career at Baker & Botts in Houston, Texas. He moved to Winston Salem, NC and worked for Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice for twenty-seven years, where he was a partner and served as the head of the Corporate & Securities Practice for thirteen of those years. He felt fortunate to end his career as Corporate Vice President and General Counsel for Qorvo in Greensboro, NC, among colleagues that he greatly admired and enjoyed.
Jeff married Lynn Singleton Howland in 1983. They were on the opposite side of the same circle of friends at WFU. As fate would have it, they ran into each other at the Myrtle Beach Bachelor Club party just before Jeff was moving to Houston. That was date number one. After a year of long distanced dating, they got married on date number ten. Never before having spent two weeks together, they spent the next 38 years in a magical marriage as best friends. Rarely apart in their free time, they adored each other. Together they loved entertaining friends, travel adventures, fine dining, working out together, daily walks, books, relaxing on the beach and having a wonderful time raising and playing with their sons.
Jeff loved his boys. He felt so lucky to be the father of Jason and Ian and was an active dad to his sons. He and Lynn took the family on car trips all over the US enjoying adventures as varied as multi-day white water rafting/camping trips, hot air ballooning, mule rides down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, scuba diving and wandering through meadows of wildflowers. Jeff particularly enjoyed his father/son weeklong sailing trips with Jason and Ian.
Jeff had a warm relationship with Lynn's parents and her extended family. He and her father, Ches, hiked many miles on the Appalachian Trail, including Maine's 100 Mile-Wilderness. On occasion, Ian would join them on the trail much to their delight. Jeff enjoyed his large Howland family and particularly looked forward to Howland reunions, which lit up his heart and his beautiful smile.
Jeff was generous with his time. He served as President of Forsyth Country Club and on the Senior Services Foundation Board. Perhaps as importantly, he sat on the floor and read to kindergarteners, tutored ESL students in Algebra, was an assistant scout master, organized and played backyard whiffle ball with the neighborhood children, worked the Junior League Rummage Sale, served as Treasurer for the Whitaker Elementary PTA, helped friends move, wrote beautiful handwritten notes of condolence and encouragement and, in general, was intentional in making sure he lived his life to positively impact his community, his family and his friends.
Jeff was an avid reader from an early age with an insatiable and lifelong appetite for learning. There was always a book in his hand at the end of the evening and he looked forward to discussing them with friends and family. Jeff had a love of music, often at loud volumes, that was a constant in his life. He was an excellent cook, and after transplant became the primary cook in his household. He was an avid gardener. Digging in the dirt was a creative outlet for him and a place of solace. He grew sunflowers that drivers stopped to admire and a beautiful vegetable garden. Though he would deny it, he particularly relished the yearly epic battles with the squirrels over his prized heirloom tomatoes.
Jeff loved to play - from board games to bridge; word games to bocci ball. He never minded losing but had a gleam in his eye when he won. He always had a NYTimes crossword puzzle going and a jigsaw on the game table. He loved golf but was wildly inconsistent. The one time he eagled #8, He called it a "Howland Sports Miracle."
Jeff was fortunate to have a beautiful group of friends, colleagues and family members, particularly, Holly and Bruce, that stayed the course with him leading up to and through his lung transplant process. We can never thank you enough. Finally, Jeff had four individuals, who at great sacrifice, isolated themselves for a year in order to be able to see Jeff inside without a mask. The Pod: Ann, Tree, Mark and Ian. You made him feel seen, safe and loved though Covid. Our hearts to yours.
Jeff was predeceased by his parents and his older brother, William George Howland III and a brother-in-law, Tony Page. He is survived by his wife, Lynn Singleton Howland, his sons, Jason William Howland and Ian Chesley Howland, his siblings, Carol Howland Dellecker (Raymond), Diane Howland Rainka (Ray), Holly Howland Watts (Bruce), Kelsie Howland Page, and Kristin Howland Bellamy (Keith), his in- laws, Chesley and Jeanne Singleton, brother-in-law, David Singleton (Mandy), his beloved nieces and nephews and Lynn's tiny but close extended family.
A memorial service for Jeff will be held in his garden for immediate family. Per his wishes, a celebration of life will be held in the fall.
If desired, Memorials in Jeff's honor may be made to Senior Services IMO Jeffrey Charles Howland 2895 Shorefair Drive, Winston Salem, NC 27105.
Jeff will be greatly missed.
Condolences may be made online at www.salemfh.com
Salem Funeral & Cremation Service
120 S. Main St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Published by Winston-Salem Journal on May 30, 2021.