A past president of the Geological Society of Kentucky and secretary of the American Institute of Professional Geologists, Paul Howell died peacefully at his home in Salvisa, Kentucky at the age of 90. A longtime resident of Lexington, where he raised his children, he had worked for several decades with the National Resources Conservation Service. Passionate about his work, he loved his coworkers as a second family and refused to retire until the age of 85. With unmatched energy, Paul continued to be consulted about his knowledge in the field until the time of his death.
A direct descendant of longhunter Henry Skaggs who accompanied Daniel Boone on expeditions into the Cumberland in 1764, Paul was born in Larue County where his earliest ancestors lived prior to Kentucky statehood in 1792. Fiercely attached to Kentucky, Paul had the gift for gab and never met a stranger in the Bluegrass State. A lifelong gardener, fisherman, hiker, and outdoor enthusiast, he craved adventure and rarely sat still.
Paul was a graduate of St. Joseph’s Prep in Bardstown and Berea College, did graduate studies at the University of Kentucky, and completed his military service at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. He is survived by his college sweetheart, Vida Lee (née Green), his children, Samuel M. Howell (Carlos) of Manhattan, NY, Joseph Whitney Howell (Kathy Marie) of Lexington, and Sidney L. Newsom (Rob) of Richland, Washington. The proud grandfather of Elijah Sublett (Sarah), Levi and Naomi Howell, Sadie and Zachary Newsom, he was also the very joyful great-grandfather to Jacob, Izzy, and Auggie. He is survived too by his remaining sister, Nancy Howell Burba, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins in Kentucky, North Carolina, and California, all of whom he was very proud.