Photojournalist Lynn Howell passes away

Former Milwaukee Journal and Sentinel photojournalist Lynn Howell, passed away on October 21 2008.

Lynn is survived by his wife Missy, daughter Melanie of Boston, mother Jane and brother Randy of Wisconsin, other relatives and many  friends across the country, including his Bowling Green University roommate Tom Payne and his wife Gaye, close friends Ken Sparks and his wife Beth Cook, former co-workers at the paper and members of  the “Wild Life Society,” Lynn’s hunting and fishing buddies who traveled “Up North” on their expeditions.

Howell started in the Journal Photo Dept. lab as a summer intern while he was a student at Bowling Green University in the mid or late 1960’s. He then became a staff photographer who shot for both the Milwaukee Sentinel and the Journal, as did all members of the staff at that time. Lynn covered the same variety of assignments that everybody did on the staff and he had a special tenacity to get into news situations to make photographs.

An example of this was after a Midwest Express airliner crashed after take-off on the south end of Mitchell Field. The entire area was closed off but Lynn was able to get into a wooded area to make photographs of the crash scene. Even after he was discovered by authorities and removed from the area, he returned and was able to photograph the crash scene. He told me that he even had a couple of neighborhood kids take him through the trails in the woods to get to the crash area.
Another story Lynn told was about the time he was covering student radicals protesting at the UW-Milwaukee and became surrounded by the protesters. As they closed in on him, Lynn took his Leica by the camera strap, started swinging it around over his head and clocked one of those pressing in on him. Administrators were watching the events from windows upstairs and invited Lynn in after witnessing his self-defense.
Lynn’s photographs of Russian gold medal gymnast Olga Korbut during an exhibition in Chicago following the 1972 Summer Olympics were awarded first place in the NPPA Sports Picture Story category.
During that time, Lynn lived in Hartland with his wife Peggy, who was taken by breast cancer, and their daughter Melanie. Lynn married Melissa (Missy) and they built a home in Waukesha County, where they lived until moving to Summerville, S.C. a few years ago. His mother Jane, and brother, Randy, also live in Waukesha County.
Lynn was also a Lt. Commander in the Navy Reserve and acted as a Public Affairs Officer. In addition to that, Lynn traveled around the country and around the world to run marathons, competing in 26.2 mile runs from the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington to the London Marathon. He was also an avid fisherman, spending a lot of time on Lake Michigan.
At the merger of the Sentinel and the Journal, Lynn left the newspaper and tried his hand at sales, working as a travel agent and also for AT&T.
When Lynn moved to South Carolina several years ago, he earned certification as a captain to lead boat tours. He also spent time golfing and deep sea fishing down there.
As close friend Sherm Gessert said, “If there ever was anyone who loved and lived life to the fullest, Lynn was that person.”

Special thanks to Bill Meyer for providing the information, photograph and anecdotes contained in this story.

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