Obituary: Harry Howell – NHL player had close ties to Southampton

   Harry Howell

NHL hockey player, Harry Howell, had close ties to Southampton (Saugeen Shores).

“My mother, Jane O’Connor, is Harry’s sister and my Dad, Jim was his  brother-in-law,” says Pat O’Connor.  “My Grandparents summered here from the 1950’s until their death.  I now live in my Grandparents’ cottage where Harry frequently came to visit them in Southampton.” O’Connor is the Constituency Manager for Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb.


Howell was a long-time New York Rangers player and, when he left the NHL, he had played more games as a defenceman than anyone else, and remains sixth in all time games played as a defenceman. He also holds the record for most games played for New York Rangers: 1,160.  His jersey #3, was retired by the NEw York Rangers during a special ceremony prior to the February 22, 2009 match versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The following is the official obituary of Harry Howell (submitted by Pat O’Connor).

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Harry on March 9, 2019. Predeceased by his beloved wife Marilyn just 26 days ago, his son Daniel, brother Ronald and his parents Vern and Dorothy Howell. Cherished dad to Cheryl and dearly loved Papa to Stephen Townson (Lindsay) and Natalie Pauls (Joshua). Fun loving Papa Harry to Julia and Nicolas Pauls. Dear brother to Jane O’Connor (Jim) and brother-in-law to Ruth Howell. 

Harry had a long and accomplished career in the National Hockey League, but his true love was his family . We had a family cottage filled with so many memories, especially Trivial Pursuit marathons, card games, cribbage and scrabble. Harry was an avid reader especially history books and never missed a Sunday morning crossword puzzle. Harry left Hamilton at 16 to play junior hockey in Guelph. He made many friends there and several were teammates for many years. When Harry’s playing career ended, he and Marilyn moved back to their hometown of Hamilton. They were often seen walking arm in arm downtown going to the market or the Hamilton Bulldogs games Thank you to Willow Grove LTC for the wonderful care and compassion you have given Harry for the past 3 years. 

His excellence on the ice won him all kinds of accolades around the NHL and at home. There’s an arena in Flamborough named after him now, which we can all be thankful was re-dedicated before his Alzheimer’s became too severe to enjoy the honour.

Visitation will be held at Bay Gardens Funeral Home, 947 Rymal Road E. Hamilton on Friday, March 22, 2019 from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm. A Celebration of Harry’s Life will be held in the ‘William J. Markey Chapel,’ Bay Gardens Funeral Home, Hamilton on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 1pm. A private family interment will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation to the Hamilton Bulldogs Foundation Harry Howell Scholarship, Online condolences may be shared at 

For a story that appeared in the Hamilton Spectator, Click Here