Dr. Neil Howell

May 4, 2020

Dr. Neil Howell, 79, passed away in his home on May 4, 2020. He was born October 28, 1940, the son of Lloyd and Ebah Howell of High Point, NC. Neil was a graduate of the Class of 1966 at UNC-Chapel Hill and an Airforce Veteran. He practiced medicine with Randolph Road Ear, Nose and Throat from 1973 to 1998 and retired from Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat in 2010.

It all started “In the Still of the Night.” Neil married his high school sweetheart, Linda, and for 57 years, he never missed an opportunity to celebrate their wedding anniversary or his Valentine.

To say that Neil was an accomplished scholar and physician would be an understatement; his academic Curriculum Vitae spans more than three pages and is but a documented glimpse into the intricate workings of a brilliant caregiver.

As a physician, he had a unique and natural bedside manner — easing patients young and old. His passion was to provide the absolute best care he could. And his patients and their families felt it. He was even known to make house calls. Dr. Howell touched and healed many lives in Charlotte and beyond.

Neil was enamored by people with extraordinary talent and expertise, whether it be a bluegrass mandolin, symphonic concerto, or The Three Tenors. He would, in fact, listen to almost any type of music — be it opera, classical, bluegrass, or country. Though he would likely pick George Jones if asked.

Not only did he savor fine foods, Neil also had an appreciation for the science and chemistry of the recipe and the talent behind the preparation and execution. He cooked often, but his annual masterpiece was his preparation of the family’s traditional Beef Wellington on Christmas Eve. The presentation was pristine, down to the puff pastry adornment and fresh greenery and holly garnish from his own garden. To share this meal with his family and friends brought him true joy.

Neil was an avid reader. Simply insatiable. He loved the rich flavors of fine wines and fresh ground strong coffee beans and could indulge you on the foundations of either if you asked.

He enjoyed the deep thought and discussion of The Horace Williams Philosophy Club and serving the community with The Rotary Club of Charlotte Dilworth South End. The time he spent with his brothers of The Security Investment Club was priceless.

Neil loved to watch his Tar Heels, the Atlanta Braves, the Carolina Panthers, and by default through his grandchildren the Tigers of LSU, Clemson, and Auburn and the Tulane University Green Wave.

He always seemed to be feeding the birds or cleaning the koi pond. He made it sound like work, but he cherished sharing his garden with them. And you could often find him fixing things around the house with a bevy of tools and supplies from a garage that would rival the shelves of Blackhawk Hardware.

Neil held many titles in his life. He took none for granted and excelled at all. To list but a few: Husband, Son, Brother, Father, Uncle, Father-In-Law, Grandfather, Doctor, Surgeon, Partner, Mentor, Friend, Neighbor, Fishing Buddy, Proofreader, Fixer-of-Things, Gift Giver and Coach. Of all, he most enjoyed being a Grandfather.

He would tell his grandchildren, “Enjoy what you do. When you do something, do it well. Never let anyone outwork you. Always check your grammar. No one will ever be prouder of you than I.”

He is survived by his wife, Linda Howell; sons, Gantt (wife Liz), Burke (wife Corie), Andy (wife Nancy); grandchildren, Taylor, Garrett, Lindsey, Sydney, Mae, Mac, Isabella, and Maddox; sister, Lynne Fairley; niece Brooke Fairley and great niece Sarah Fairley.

A memorial service will be announced a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to the American Heart Association online at http://charlottencgoredluncheon.heart.org or mailing checks to: American Heart Association, Dr. Neil Howell Memorial, 128 S. Tryon St., Suite 1588, Charlotte, NC 28202

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

Share your memories & condolences


  • Phil M. Gandy, Jr

    Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Dr Howell, I feel as though I did know him based upon a continuing friendship with his eldest son Gantt who portrayed the same characteristics of his father.

  • Dr. Lisa Cyzner

    Please forgive me as it has taken me some time to write this since hearing of the passing of Dr. Howell. I credit Dr. Howell with helping me as a first-time mom raise a healthy child who was born prematurely and plagued with ear infections resulting in three sets of tubes. Together, along with Dr. Wirt Neale, I had the pediatric dream team as a mom. While pregnant with my second child, Dr. Howell helped me face a multitude of sinus-related issues carefully and safely. Now, my first-born son is a rising senior in college majoring in finance with minors in economics and leadership, but I can still distinctly remember those days of support and compassion. I cried on the day Dr. Howell retired because reading about all that he had done, including for us, brought back such memories of a level of patient care I will treasure forever. Similar tears were shed when I read his obituary. May Dr. Neil Howell's memory always be a blessing.

  • Lynda Shaw Garrison,RN (retired)

    It made my day when I had a full day of cases for Dr.Howell. His demeanor set the tone for our team who adored him as a man and physician. I shall always remember him as a compassionate,dedicated ENT surgeon.

    May God bless all of you, his family. Know that he was greatly respected by all in the medical family

  • Lisa Green

    Condolences to Dr Howell’s family. Always enjoyed working with him. I thought very highly of him. I chose him to do surgery on both my girls. Very sweet man

  • Deborah Greifr

    What a beautiful eulogy. He was a great ENT and I enloyed doing anesthesia for his patients. I know he will be missed by all an impossible hole to fill in their lives. Prayers for God's Peace to you all.

  • Chuck & Betty Beard

    WE are so sorry for your loss.Neil was a great friend.

  • Anne Miller

    So sorry for your loss. Fond memories of the good ole days in the OR at Presbyterian. Love & sympathy

  • Matthew and Susan Hanks

    Sending our love and prayers for the family upon hearing of Dr Howell’s passing. May you experience the peace that surpasses understanding during this difficult time. Love, Matthew and Susan Hanks (former voice specialist with Presbyterian Voice Center and CEENTA)

  • Betty Adams

    The Greater Charlotte community has lost a valuable asset as Neil was the epitome of "gentleman and scholar". We are stronger, safer and happier because he cared and took his various roles seriously. Linda, you are in our hearts and prayers.
    With love,
    Betty and Thad Adams

  • Philip Volponi

    May heart is filled with the sad news of learning of Neil's passing...he was an incredibly generous man and I person I greatly admired.
    I knew him from his Opera Carolina Board involvement and from Rotary.
    My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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