Obituary: Robert Lowell Howard |

Obituary: Robert Lowell Howard

Robert Lowell Howard
Robert Lowell Howard
Provided Photo

June 24, 1936 – May 3, 2022

Robert (Bob) Howard, much loved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully on May 3, 2022. He was 85.
Bob had a great love for God, family, learning, travel, and Bombay Sapphire martinis. He was often greeted in his favorite restaurants with a martini already at his seat (which may be why they were his favorite restaurants). He had an inquisitive intellect and couldn’t understand why he had a hard time finding others to listen to lectures on string theory with him.
Bob was born in Blanchard, Oklahoma. His parents were Ruth and Lowell Howard. He had one brother, James. The family moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma when Bob was 6. Bob graduated from Bartlesville High School in 1954. While in high school he was active in sports and was president of both his junior and senior class. After high school, Bob attended Rice University. He graduated with a BA in 1958 and a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1959.
He then joined Shell Oil Company and worked for it until he retired in 1995. His final position at Shell was Vice President – Domestic Operations Exploration and Production. He was also President of two Shell subsidiary companies: Shell Offshore, Inc. and Shell Western Exploration and Production, Inc. Among other accomplishments, Bob is largely credited with leading Shell into the Deep Water Gulf of Mexico and discovery and development of The Bullwinkle, Mars, and Ursa fields. While in New Orleans, Bob was on the boards of the New Orleans Business Council, the New Orleans Symphony, and the Audubon Nature Institute. After he retired, Bob served on several public company boards of directors and retired from three: Devon Energy, Inc., Southwestern Energy, and McDermott Inc.
Bob married Helen Claunts on September 5, 1959, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. They had dated on and off since they were 16, and in 1958 they realized that they should spend the rest of their lives together. Bob and Helen had three children: Diana Howard (Steve Pully), Debra Ropp (Lewis Ropp), and David Howard (Anna Howard).
One of Bob’s great joys in life was being a grandfather and great-grandfather. He modeled important life skills for his grandchildren such as hard work, critical thinking, and being able to get a wine cork to stand upright after being bounced on a table. One of the talents most admired by his grandchildren was his ability to tightly braid a plastic straw. Though they all tried, no one could do it like Gramps. He and Helen had 10 grandchildren: Lauren Pully (Dylan Graham), Katherine Pully, Meg Worsham (Chris Worsham), John Ropp (Sydney Ropp), Lyssie Ropp, Bo Ropp, Amanda Brumwell (Rushir Patel), Rebecca Howard, Ameila Brumwell and Parker Howard. They have four great-grandchildren: Alyx, Dale, Clark, and Owen.
Bob and Helen joined the Episcopal Church in Metairie, Louisiana in 1964, and their faith was very important to them. They were very active members in the church wherever they lived.
After Bob retired from Shell, he and Helen traveled extensively and enjoyed spending time in New York City and Vail, Colorado.
Bob is preceded in death by Helen, his parents, his brother, and his nephew Michael Howard.
A memorial service will be held at 10 AM on June 24th at the Vail Interfaith Chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Boys and Girls Country of Texas at 18806 Roberts Road, Hockley, Texas 77447; The Howard Family Scholarship Fund at Rice University, Office of Development MS-81, PO Box 1892, Houston, Texas 77251; or to the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration at PO Box 1000, Vail, Colorado, 81658.

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