Matthew James Howell Sr.

Published 4:57 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Matthew “Tommy” James Howell Sr., D.D.S., 93, of Portsmouth, passed away Oct. 11, 2020.  He was born in Southampton County, the son of the late Parker Daughtrey Howell and Mattie Carr Howell. He spent many years growing up in the Chuckatuck area of Nansemond County. Tommy was a United States Navy veteran having served during WWII. He later went on to graduate from Elon College and The Medical College of Virginia. After school, he owned and operated his dentistry practice, Dr. M.J. Howell, D.D.S. in Portsmouth, for over 30 years.  Tommy was a member of Green Acres Presbyterian Church and a former member of the American Dental Association.

Tommy is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Melissa Carr Howell and Sean O’Rourke; son, Matthew James Howell Jr.; grandson, Aidan H. O’Rourke; sister, Evelyn Howell; brother, Leroy Howell Sr. D.D.S.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A private burial will be held at Holly Lawn Cemetery.  A celebration of life service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Elon University, University Advancement, 2600 Campus Box, Elon NC 27244 with a note in the memo line for Elon Student Scholarships. Condolences may be registered online at


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