Cover photo for Phyllis Jean Howell's Obituary
Phyllis Jean Howell Profile Photo
1944 Phyllis Jean Howell 2024

Phyllis Jean Howell

April 23, 1944 — April 4, 2024


Phyllis Jean Howell (also known as Mama and Nana) passed away on Thursday, April 4, 2024, at her home in Odessa, Texas. She was a loving wife, mom, and Nana who was devoted to her family. Billy Ray Howell Sr. (known as BR, Daddy, and Papa) passed away on Friday, April 5, 2024, at his home in Odessa, Texas. He was a loving husband, dad, and Papa who would do anything for his family. Phyllis and Billy lived a long and happy life until God called them home. We are so grateful that He chose to take them within hours of each other because they would not have wanted it any other way.

Phyllis was born on April 23, 1944, in Mayfield, California. At the age of 3, she moved to Odessa, Texas, where she attended Dowling Elementary and Bonham Jr. High School. She loved playing sports, especially volleyball and softball, singing, and attending Temple Baptist Church. She was a happy girl who enjoyed the outdoors, babysitting the neighborhood kids, and spending time with her family.

Billy was born on May 11, 1941, in Vowells Mill, Louisiana. He attended Vowells Mill Elementary School and West Lake Charles Jr. High School in West Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he ran track. He also lived in Houston, Texas. Around the age of 16, he left his family in Louisiana and chose to move to Odessa, Texas, where he would find a job and attend Ector High School. While Billy was attending Ector High School, he worked in construction. Once the construction foreman realized he was not old enough to be on the job sites, Billy went on to work at Casey’s Drive-In. He was a determined young man who worked hard to put himself through school where he would go on to earn his high school diploma. 

And from here is where Phyllis and Billy’s love story begins...

Phyllis, at the age of 14, and Billy, at the age of 17, met at the Odessa Roller Skating Rink, and from that day forward, they were inseparable.

They got married on April 30, 1960, in Odessa, Texas, where Billy started Howell Insulation Company. For 60 years, he ran his company until he retired in 2020. Phyllis spent her time raising their 3 children, and nothing in this world made her happier than being a wife and mom. As their kids grew older, she started going to the office daily with Billy. They spent their time working together, being with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and traveling as much as possible to as many places as they could. Billy and Phyllis made sure to visit their favorite place, Las Vegas, at least 3-4 times a year.

Phyllis is preceded in death by her parents, Helen Sarrels and John Zugg Sr., and stepfather, Ralph Sarrels; sister, Linda Crouse; and brother, John Zugg Jr.

Billy is preceded in death by his parents, Mavis and Dewey Howell Sr.; brothers, Doyle Jean Howell, Donnie Howell Sr., and Jerry Howell.

Phyllis and Billy are also preceded in death by their son-in-law, Mike Huff.

Phyllis and Billy are survived by their children, Sherri and husband Jerry Dugan, Billy Jr. and wife Becky Howell, Lori and husband Jerry Kidd, all of Odessa, Texas; grandchildren, Brittany and husband Jarrett Welborn of Sonora, Texas, Billy Howell III (Trey) of Conroe, Texas, Savannah and husband Dustin Brookshire of Odessa, Texas, Jerry Jr. and wife Christina Dugan of Odessa, Texas, and Amber Dugan of Dallas, Texas; great-grandchildren, Braylin Welborn, Jayden Welborn, and Jace Ray Welborn of Sonora, Texas, and Jerry Dugan III and Journni Mae Dugan of Odessa, Texas.

Billy is also survived by his sister, Hattie and husband Mark Taliaferro of Brownwood, Texas; and brother, Dewey Jr. and wife Nazarene Howell of Wimberly, Texas.

Phyllis and Billy are also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and numerous friends.

Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, April 11, 2024, at Sunset Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home in Odessa, Texas.

The funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12, 2024, at Crossroads Fellowship Church in Odessa, Texas.

The family of Phyllis and Billy Howell wishes to extend our sincerest thanks to Dr. J.B. Naidu and his nurses, Christina, and Candy. They would also like to give an extra special thank you to Aleida Suchil with A Pleasant Living, for her love, patience, care, and support in taking such great care of both Phyllis and Billy.

Memorials may be given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Alzheimer’s Association.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phyllis Jean Howell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, April 11, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Sunset Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home

6801 E. Business 20, Odessa, TX 79762

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, April 12, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, April 12, 2024

3:30 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Sunset Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home

6801 E. Business 20, Odessa, TX 79762

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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