Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Janet Howell

January 25, 1937 - March 11, 2022
Holland, MI


Ice Cream Sundae Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 18, 2022
2:00 PM EDT
The Warm Friend
5 East 8th Street
Holland, MI 49423


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

948 Washington Avenue
Holland, MI 49423
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Janet June Howell died peacefully March 11, 2022 at the age of 85 due to heart failure. She is survived by her children Susan Peffers, John Lightfoot, John Howell and Linda Howell, along with six grandchildren.

She was born on January 25, 1937 to June and Alice Houseman in Albion, Michigan. As a farmer’s daughter, she was very active in 4-H, winning multiple blue ribbons at the Calhoun County Fair for her canning and sewing prowess.

Janet graduated Albion High School as salutatorian. She matriculated to Michigan State University, earning an MSU 4-H scholarship and working for the 4-H state headquarters in East Lansing. She graduated from MSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1959 and from Western Michigan with a Master of Science degree in 1962. She married David Lightfoot in 1957; they divorced in 1983.

Janet was a teacher of Home Economics for many years. She taught in Homer, Michigan; Niles, Michigan, and finally, Holland, Michigan. She retired as a Co-op Coordinator, placing area high school students in healthcare jobs that would benefit their career interests. Late in her career, she was a representative for MEA Financial, helping teachers plan for retirement. She spent over 25 years as a volunteer with the Holland Help Line, providing emergency mental health support to community members 24x7.

In 1989 she married Charles Howell, a family friend from Albion who lived in Holland. Janet knew Chuck was the one when he stayed until midnight cleaning her pool of all the leaves and gunk one spring. They created a great partnership, seamlessly blending their families together.

Janet and Chuck brought out the best in each other. They were both lifelong fans of Michigan State, watching basketball games together and sharing football season tickets for many years with Chuck’s sister Virginia and her husband Tony. Before marrying Janet, Chuck was a bit of a homebody, but Janet’s love of travel got them out and about, vacationing in New England, Indiana and Seattle, taking a cruise through the Panama Canal, catching a show in Branson, and spending long stretches in Florida to keep out of the cold, while always visiting friends and family on the way. They loved Northern Michigan and had annual vacations at Barothy Lodge, Shanty Creek and Mackinac Island. Their favorite vacation spot was Bear Lake, where they would spend summers in a cottage on the lake with their friends Nancy and Cliff. Janet and Nancy would make greeting cards in town while Chuck and Cliff went fishing.

Please join us for an Ice Cream Sundae Celebration of Janet's life at The Warm Friend, 5 East 8th Street in Holland on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Resthaven, 948 Washington Avenue, Holland, MI 49423 or