William Howes

William “Bill” Howes, passed away September 10, 2022 at his home in Brownsville, MN. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, September 16 at St. Patrick’s Church, Brownsville, MN. Burial will be at 2:30 p.m. Friday in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Waukon.

Visitation will be held Thursday, September 15 at St Patrick’s Church, Breza Hall, Brownsville, MN. Prayer Service will be at 4 p.m., and visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. Visitation will also be held from 10-11 a.m. Friday morning prior to services at the church.

Bill was born August 26, 1939 in Waukon to Raymond and Cecelia (Teeling) Howes. He was married to Jeanette (Jan) Bakewell July 23, 1960.

He will be deeply missed by his family: wife Jan; children Sheila, David (Anita), Colleen (Dan) and Dan; grandchildren Rebekah, Ben (Jaycee), Nathaniel, Morgan, Olivia and Joseph; great-granddaughter Vivee; step-grandchildren Jordan (Abby) and Matthew (Rachel); his sister, Rose Marie (Charles Link); his brother, Tom; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Ed; his sister, Mary Flottmeyer; his in-laws,  Joe and Luella Bakewell; and his brothers-in-law, Bob, Ron and Larry Bakewell.

Bill lived a life of purpose, of honor, and with compassion for others. He was a long-time La Crosse, WI businessman with a second career in farming. His life was filled with family and a strong connection to his faith, his community, and his friends.

After graduating from St. Patrick’s High School in Waukon, Bill served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Salem and USS Canberra. His service to the country and community didn’t end after his honorable discharge. He had a strong religious faith and was an active parishioner at St Patrick’s parish in Brownsville, MN, serving as lector and Eucharistic minister. Fueled by his faith, he was committed to a number of causes in the area including the Lions Club of La Crosse and Brownsville, and was a member of the Brownsville VFW.

After his tour of duty with the United States Navy, Bill enrolled in classes at Bradley University in Peoria, IL where he took classes in watch making and jewelry repair. Upon completion, he became an apprentice and opened his first jewelry store in downtown La Crosse in January 1964.

After establishing himself as a business owner, Bill turned his attention to farming, which was his passion. He would do morning chores before the jewelry store opened and continued to build both the business and farm operations. After retiring from business, he was a full-time farmer, which brought him immense joy. He loved all aspects of farming and was well-known at the local sale barn and farm auctions. Bill was farming and doing chores the day before his unexpected death.

Bill loved to get together with friends and extended family. He and Jan had regular, weekly social engagements. In recent years, he started each morning having coffee with his friends in Brownsville. Bill was quick with a story - told with a twinkle in his eye. He was not only a great storyteller, he was an exceptionally attentive listener; always curious about the lives of others.

He was intentional about staying connected with his many friends and family. You never knew when you would receive a call from Bill, who would be checking in on you and eager to listen to what you had to say.

Over the last few years, Bill and Jan traveled with their grandchildren on international trips. A highlight of those trips was Ireland, where Bill felt right at home among the lush landscape, farming, and the Irish storytellers.

Memorials may be shared with St. Patrick’s Church, Brownsville, MN. McCormick Funeral Home of Caledonia, MN is assisting the family, and online condolences may be given at www.mccormickfuneralhome.net.