John graduated from Morristown High School and entered Princeton at 17. He sang in the Chapel Choir, served as carillonneur, and was the founding engineer at WPRB.
After graduating with a degree in electrical engineering, John entered the Army Signal Corps. After two years in the Signal Corps, including service in postwar Japan, he joined the Long Lines department of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. (AT&T) and became a Sloan fellow at MIT. John rose in the company, establishing and directing a new AT&T office in Orlando, Fla., to handle AT&T’s litigation with MCI and other antitrust litigation. He ran the office until his retirement.
He actively supported choral concerts and organ recitals in the Orlando area. John was predeceased by his wife, Lois. He is survived by children John III, Scott, James, and Maria Mitchell Owen ’73; 23 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.
Other alumni relatives include John Howell 1778, Paul Howell 1818, John Howell 1830, Lemuel Cobb Howell 1849, Charles Fish Howell 1891, Benjamin Franklin Howell 1913 *1920, John White Howell 1922, Joseph Brewster Howell ’51, Stephen Haviland Howell ’54, and David Howell Petraeus *85 *87.