Ellen Lu Pace Howell

Ellen Lu Pace Howell was a west central Iowa farm child born on February 2, 1947. She attended Northwest Missouri State College and accomplished her dream to be a kindergarten teacher – teaching in MO, IA, NE, WI, and IL throughout her career. Her other dream was to marry and have a boy and a girl. Ron Howell from Jerseyville, IL was her life mate. In addition to Ron, Ellen is also survived by her children: Ryan Howell and Tara Mecum along with her husband Kip. Her grandson Jesse Howell and a sister Jeanette Holt along with her husband Norm also survive. Ellen liked order in her life, yet was not consumed by material goods. She enjoyed nature and traveling. Being a good wife, mother and teacher were her gifts to the world.

Ellen was employed as a classroom paraeducator at Monroe Elementary Quincy, for seven years. She spent the last eight years of her career specializing in 1:1 autism education. She was frequently sought out by QPS schools because of her devotion to these children benefiting from her special talents.

Ellen passed on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 after a brief but heroic battle with pancreatic cancer.

A Celebration of Ellen’s Life will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2024 beginning at 2:00 PM at Vermont Street United Methodist Church, Quincy. Interment will take place at a later date in Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville, IL. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Quincy Public Schools or to Vermont Street United Methodist Church, Quincy. The Duker & Haugh Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.


  1. Shirley Tode on January 26, 2024 at 8:03 am

    Bruce and I send along sincere condolences. Ellen was a beautiful, loving woman. Our prayers are with you and your family.

  2. Donna J. Varchola on January 27, 2024 at 11:17 am

    Ellen was my roommate and best friend at Northwest Missouri State College. After graduation, we kept in touch over the years. She called me on January 4th for my birthday, like she always did. I will always treasure our friendship and our memories together. I will miss her so!

  3. George Varchola on January 27, 2024 at 11:39 am

    Donna and I send our deepest sympathies to you and the Howell family. Ellen was a great Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Teacher. She was able to touch so many lives with her God given talents! May she rest in peace!

  4. Lois Young on January 28, 2024 at 4:11 pm

    Ron, Ellen and I met over 20 years ago while we were both assisting teachers with the young children’s education at Fairview school in Normal, Illinois. We spent most every lunch hour together, getting to know each other and sharing our life and family experiences and developing a deep friendship that has continued throughout all these years. She has been a very treasured friend, and I will cherish her friendship forever.
    I was shocked and saddened to learn of her passing such a short time after her diagnosis.
    I’m very sorry that her life here with you has been shortened.
    May the Lord’s love and peace be comfort to you in the days ahead

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