Hannibal Howell Jr., M.D
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Early Saturday morning, Aug. 30, 2009, Hannibal E. Howell Jr., M.D., went home to meet his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Dr. Howell died peacefully surrounded by his wife of 52 years, Marjorie B. Howell, and other loved ones. Dr. Howell was 77 years old. A native of Holland, Va., Dr. Howell was an exceptional and gifted child, graduating from high school and enrolling at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) at the age of 13. He graduated from Hampton Institute with honors in 1950 with a degree in chemistry and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Dr. Howell deferred his commission to commence graduate studies at Howard University. After accepting his commission, he served two tours of duty as an infantry officer in the Korean War and received the Distinguished Service Medal. Upon his return, he worked for two years as a chemist at the Petroleum Laboratory, U.S. Naval Supply Center, where he designed and patented the tetraethyl lead digestion apparatus (catalytic converter) for fuel injected engines that is still used in cars today. In 1955, Dr. Howell decided to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine, where he was the first African-American to be admitted to their medical school. During his tenure at UVA, he was honored to reside on the University’s range. He earned his M.D. from UVA in 1958. In 1967, he became the first African American to complete his residency at George Washington University. Dr. Howell became Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology in 1972.
Throughout his distinguished career and 40 years in the private practice of medicine, Dr. Howell served in many professional positions and on boards including the following: Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, Director, Coronary Care Unit and Chair, Credentials Committee, Sentara Hampton General Hospital; Director, Student Health Services, Hampton University (48 years); Director, Department of Electrocardiography, Whittaker Memorial Hospital; Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School; Diplomat, American Board of Internal Medicine; President and Board of Directors, American Heart Association; President of Old Dominion Medical Society, Delegate to the House of Delegates, Medical Society of Virginia; Diplomat, American Board of Internal Medicine; President, Peninsula Medical Society; Member, National Medical Society; Board Member and Fellow, association of Black Cardiologists, Inc.; and Fellow, American College Health Association (ACHA). The ACHA established an award for achievement that is given to a recipient annually in Dr. Howell’s name. Dr. Howell was also a member of the following organizations: National Guardsmen, Inc. (Past President); Hundred Men of America; and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Zeta Omicron Chapter.
Dr. Howell leaves his loving wife, Marjorie B. Howell; two children, Elveeda Howell Dixon and Hannibal E. Howell, III; a son-in-law, Kenneth C. Dixon and daughter-in-law, Carol Victoria Howell; two grandchildren, Christian Howell Dixon and Corey Howell; five sisters-in-law; and a host of cousins and friends.
The viewing will be Thursday at Peebles Funeral Home in Suffolk, Va., from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and a funeral will be held on Friday at 12:30 p.m. at Hampton University Memorial Chapel. A final homegoing service will be held for family on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Laurel Hill United Church of Christ in Suffolk, Va.