John Joe Howlett

John Joe Howlett Sr., age 76, of Little Rock, formerly of Monticello, passed away Thursday, October 10, 2013, at his home in Little Rock.

Born December 23, 1936 he was the son of the late Byron P. Howlett Sr. and Martha Howlett Howlett.

He was a retired special agent with the United States Secret Service, a United States Coast Guard Veteran and was a Baptist. Mr. Howlett was a Monticello High School graduate before enlisting in the Coast Guard. He then received a degree in Police Administration from Michigan State before coming back to Monticello. He there helped his father in the lumber yard business, Howlett’s Building Supplies, until he received his appointment with the United States Secret Service.

John Joe joined the Secret Service on October 1, 1962. He reported to the New York City Field Office and went from there to serve on detail for Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson. From there he served the detail that guarded the famous Mona Lisa painting while it was in Washington, DC and from there to New York.

He left New York and came home to marry the love of his life of 50 years, Betty Lou Miller Howlett. He was then transferred to the Dallas Field Office in February of 1963. It was there that former President of the United States, John F. Kennedy was assassinated where Mr. Howlett performed intense investigations on this tragedy. After the assassination, he assisted the Warren Commission report for about a year.

In 1966, he and his family reported to the forgery division Headquarters in Washington, DC. From there he coordinated the investigations of United States Savings Bonds. He remained there until September 1969 when he had the opportunity to transfer to the Little Rock Field Office. John Joe retired in December of 1989 where he began volunteer work for the Little Rock Public Schools and the “Seven On Your Side” edition on Channel 7 News.

He enjoyed his retirement just doing as he pleased. He was an avid hunter and cherished spending time with his family. John Joe was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend.

His survivors include his wife of 50 years, Betty Lou Miller Howlett, of Little Rock; two sons, John Howlett Jr. and wife, Stephanie, of Hensley, and Lew Howlett and wife, Karen, of Greenbrier; his daughter, Kathy Mayo, of Conway; one brother, Byron P. Howlett Jr. and wife, Billie Kite, of San Antonio, Texas; a sister-in-law, Emma Jean Wiscaver, of Monticello; two granddaughters, Sarah Mayo and Jessica Howlett; six grandsons, Zack and Jacob Mayo, Justin, Hunter, Colton and Easton Howlett; a very dear friend and neighbor, Aletha Sneed, of Little Rock along with her children Christy and Craig; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at Stephenson-Dearman Chapel with burial with Military Honors following in Oakland Cemetery.

An online guestbook may be viewed and signed at

The Advance-Monticellonian

Mailing Address:
PO Box 486
Monticello, AR 71657

Street Address:
314 Main Street
Monticello, AR 71655

Phone: 870-367-5325
Fax: 870-367-6612

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