Cover photo for Richard Frederick Howell's Obituary
Richard Frederick Howell Profile Photo
1950 Richard 2021

Richard Frederick Howell

April 12, 1950 — September 21, 2021

Richard Frederick Howell, 71, of Topeka, passed away on September 21. 2021 at the University of Kansas Hospital, St. Francis Campus.

He was born in New Albany, Indiana on April 12, 1950 the son of William Thomas and Mary Elizabeth (Hayes) Howell.

Richard worked in custodial services for several different entities and retired from USD #437.

He enjoyed fishing, woodworking, gardening, being outdoors and was a handyman. Richard was a avid KU Basketball fan. He liked to go to antique car shows and restored a 1949 Blue Ford Pickup.  He especially loved being a grandpa and was very proud of his grandchildren’s accomplishments.  Because of his love for his grandchildren, he began his sobriety which he maintained for the past 20 years, an accomplishment that his family was very proud of.

Richard married Mary Sue Smoot on November 4, 1970 in Topeka and they had two daughters.  They later divorced.  He is survived by his daughter, Laura Knudtson and husband David and their children, Tatum, Kyler and Keegan, and daughter, Carrie Howell, and a brother, John W. Howell and wife Linda of Louisville, Kentucky.  He is also survived by his companion of 44 years, Josephine Trujillo and his four dogs, Kipp, Pansy, Kodi and Fritz.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, Patricia L. Howell-Doll, Joseph Howell, Larry T. Howell, William R. Howell, Robert G. Howell, Terry L. Howell and James P. Howell.

Richard was cremated.  Graveside services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, October 8, 2021 at Mt. Hope Cemetery in the Lincoln Section near his parents.   The time will be available soon.

Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to Saving Death Row Dogs, or Midland Hospice Care Inc. and sent in care of Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, Kansas  66603.

Online condolences and fond memories may be left at


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