Gareth Howell, a native Welshman and an active member of the Falls Church community with an extraordinary career in international development, died Jan. 4 after a valiant struggle with pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his beloved wife, Amy Titus, and sons Llewellyn Howell and Rhys Howell, both graduates of George Mason High School.
Gareth was born in Rhiwbina, Wales, in 1942, and attended Cowbridge Grammar School in Wales, Mill Hill School near London, and received an Honors Degree in Law from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. In a career that spanned the globe, from Colombia to Pakistan to Thailand to Indonesia to Europe, Mr. Howell managed to never lose sight of his essential identity as a Welshman. He started his career in labor relations at the Ford Motor Company in the United Kingdom, and later worked for the World Bank Group on improving higher education in Nepal and Pakistan, and helping the governments of Mexico and Colombia on designing labor development strategies. During his time at the International Labor Organization, he worked with the United Nations on reconstructing Kosovo and East Timor. He was fluent in numerous languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, German, Urdu, and Welsh.
But Mr. Howell, who lived in the United States from 1999 until his death, was also passionate about the Welsh heritage that shaped his life. He was a Welsh magistrate and drafted early proposals for the Welsh constitution, which was enacted in 1999. The Law School of the University of Aberystwyth awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in July 2017 in recognition of these contributions. He was also President Emeritus of the St. David’s Welsh-American Society of Washington, D.C., a board member of the Welsh North American Association, and North America Secretary for the Welsh Legal History Society.
Gareth was generous and gracious, with an encyclopedic memory and an ever-ready smile and served as a valuable mentor and advisor to many, many friends and acquaintances. He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed.
A Service of Witness to the Resurrection for Gareth Howell will be held at the Falls Church Presbyterian Church (225 E. Broad St., Falls Church) at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 12.