Eleanor Elizabeth Howell, 47, unexpectedly died in her sleep at her home in Raleigh, NC, on October 22, 2019.
She is survived by her parents, Barbara Spetnagel Howell and David Floyd Howell of Mt. Juliet, TN, and sisters, Virginia Howell of Smyrna, GA, and Rebecca Crew of Baltimore, MD. She is also survived by brother-in-law, Darin Crew; niece, Eloise Crew; nephew, Henry Crew; uncle and aunt, Ted and Nancy Spetnagel of Smyrna, GA; and cousins, Allen Spetnagel and Elizabeth Crowe. She was predeceased by her grandparents, Ollie Floyd Howell, Jr., Eleanor Sue Bush Howell, Theodore Scott Spetnagel, and Lucille Elizabeth Stuckey Spetnagel.
Eleanor was born July 12, 1972, and raised on the family farm in Mt. Juliet. She was a member of the Mt. Juliet High School Band of Gold and participated in a People to People Exchange Program to the Soviet Union in 1989, where she studied astronomy. After graduating as valedictorian of her class in 1990, she attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she was a Harrison Scholar and a member of Phi Mu sorority. She earned B.A.’s in Mathematics/ Statistics and Chemistry and a Master’s Degree in Statistics from Miami. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study at North Carolina State University, and then joined the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, where she became Director in 2014.
Eleanor was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, where she served as elder, deacon, hand bell choir member, and middle school youth advisor. One of her most beloved places was Holston Presbytery Camp in Banner Elk, North Carolina, where she was both a camper and a counselor, finding pure joy in singing and fellowship.
An avid traveler, reader, and music fan, Eleanor loved exploring her family genealogy and adventuring in virtual worlds through the multi-player mobile online strategy game, Ingress. Her curious mind, compassionate heart, and kind soul will be missed by the many people whose lives she touched.
A memorial service was held on November 2, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church, Raleigh. A graveside service was held at noon on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Mt. Juliet Memorial Gardens. Visitation followed from 2 to 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Lebanon, TN on Saturday, November 9, 2019.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Holston Presbytery Camp, 6993 Hickory Nut Gap Rd, Banner Elk, NC 28604; First Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, 112. S. Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC 27601; or the Mt. Juliet – Wilson County Library, 2765 N Mt. Juliet Road, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122.
Local arrangements by Bond Memorial Chapel, N. Mt. Juliet Road and Weston Drive, Mt. Juliet, TN. (615)773-2663. www.bondmemorial.com