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March 19, 2014

John I. Howell

John I. Howell

GREENWICH, Conn. — John I. Howell, 97, of Greenwich, Conn., and Springfield Center, died peacefully Thursday, March 13, 2014, at his Greenwich home, with his companion of the past decade, Marge Boger, at his side.

Born in Sewickley, Pa., on Feb. 2, 1917, Mr. Howell was the son of the Rev. Alleyne C. and Rosalie Howell. He was the youngest of their three sons.

Mr. Howell led a full and active life.

He graduated from St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., in 1935 and Yale University in 1939.

In 1941, after war was declared, he sought to enlist in the U.S. Army but was rejected, a matter he overcame when he memorized the eye chart. Once in the Army, he was assigned to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in Washington and later sent to Burma and China where he provided intelligence on Japanese maneuvers. His intelligence background also came into play after the war when he worked for the CIA undercover as a banker in Tangiers, Morocco. His efforts were focused on tracking the source of funds to pay for Soviet spies in this country.

It was finance that became his career. With a keen interest in world affairs and commerce, Mr. Howell was well-suited for J. Henry Schroder Banking Corp., based in London, England. He worked at the New York office of the company where he became president in 1962 and then chairman of the board in 1970. In that capacity, and eventually following his retirement, he went on to serve on the board of directors of several companies including Ward Howell Associates Inc., and the American International Group.

His work took him around the world almost always accompanied by his wife, Nelda Audibert Howell. They were a vibrant couple guaranteed to liven any gathering.

An artist and gifted raconteur, she was born in France, the daughter of an American mother and French father. They met at a dance in New York City when he was at Yale.

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