Paul David Howell passed away peacefully at home with his wife and son by his side on February 13, 2022 after a 13-month battle with cancer. He was 57 years old.
Paul, who always went by his middle name David, was born in Miami, Florida, the third child of Sergeant Major Paul and Consuelo Howell. The family later moved to El Paso, Texas where the children grew up. David graduated from Parkland high school in 1982 and attended Texas Tech for a time before returning to El Paso and graduating from UTEP with a Bachelors degree in Photojournalism. After graduation he worked filming horse races at tracks in Ruidoso and Sunland Park, New Mexico and Boise, Idaho. He lived in Washington, DC briefly before moving to Austin in the mid 1990s He found his way into the high tech industry at Power Computing and later Apple Inc. In 1998, David met Grace and they were married in 2002 in a barefoot wedding on Kualoa Park beach in Hawaii. The next year they welcomed their only son Nathan into the world. David was a devoted father to his son and was always so proud of him.
David’s career at Apple Inc. spanned 20+ years. He was a hard working and loyal man whose friends remember him as a great guy who was fun to be around and always smiling. In 2017 he was laid off by Apple and decided to retire early and enjoy his life with family and friends and pursue his hobbies.
He loved racing his remote control cars and had a large group of friends he knew for many years who would gather to compete at Thorn Hill track. Bicycling was another big part of his life as well. He turned his road bike into an eBike and rode it hundreds of miles around Austin seeing more of the city than he had ever seen before. These were the hobbies he loved most in the last years of his life. Also a handyman extraordinaire, he helped many friends, family and even neighbors fix issues with their homes, cars and appliances. You name it and he could fix it! But being “Mr. Fix It” was not his only hands-on talent. Remodeling, the true test of a couple’s relationship, was something David loved and he and Grace tackled many projects together from updating bathrooms, kitchens and putting in flooring, to rebuilding a patio cover, installing windows and much more.
A devoted son to his aging mother, David persuaded Consuelo to move in 2012 from her home of 40+ years in El Paso to a condo in Austin close to his home so he could be there to help her when needed. She loved being close to family and watching her grandchildren grow up.
During David’s last year, his son’s graduation from high school and start to college was one of his proudest moments as a father. David always wanted to travel more for fun after many years of business travel he didn’t really enjoy. Last summer he was well enough to take some vacations with Grace to the Texas beach, the mountains of New Mexico and later visited his younger brother John in Seattle. David and Grace traveled more in 2021 than in any year since they were married and many happy memories were made.
During the last weeks of his life family surrounded David and many friends he knew throughout his life came to visit him. He was loved by everyone in his life and was more important to us than he probably ever knew. Not wanting traditional funeral services, his only request to family and friends was that we “Shed a few tears and have a few toasts and live our lives to the fullest.” To honor that request a celebration of life will be held in May and the details will be available once they are confirmed.
David is survived by his wife, Grace, and son, Nathan Howell; his sister Lynne and brother-in law-Bruce and their adult children Ella and Henry Whitaker; his brother Mark and sister-in-law Marcie, all residing in Austin; and his brother John of Seattle, Washington, and many aunts, uncles and cousins from both sides of his family.