The Rev. James Dale Howie, 89


The Rev. James Dale Howie, 89, of Donnellson, formerly of Sparta, died on Wednesday, Feb.7, 2024, at his home.

Visitation will be held at the Sparta Reformed Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 9 to 11 a.m. Funeral services will follow, beginning at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Ross Fearing and the Rev. Daniel Hemken officiating. Committal services will take place at Hill Prairie Cemetery in Sparta. Heil-Schuessler and  Sinn Funeral Home in Sparta is in charge of arrangements.

The Rev. Howie was born on Dec. 20, 1934 in Eden, to the late Walter R. and Luella (Fullerton) Howie. He graduated from Sparta High School and went on to attend Millikin University in Decatur. He received a degree in theological seminary at Louisville, KY and served in six different churches and communities for over 55 years.

The Rev. Howie was ordained as a minster on June 28, 1959 and started preaching in September of that same year. Nothing slowed him down; after suffering through several unexpected health issues at a young age, he overcame them and dedicated his life to God. He was a pastor to the Larger Parish of the Open Door which consisted of churches in Butler, Donnellson, Reno-Bethel, Sorento, Waveland and Witt. He took a trip to Pitkin County, CO every summer and preached while he was there.

The Rev. Howie is survived by his brother, William Joe (Jane) Howie, of Connecticut; a sister-in-law, Jeannette Howie; a brother-in-law, Donald Essex; and four nieces, Robin (Todd) Stroh, Nancy (Scott) Boutot, Crystal Phillips and Tanya (Darrell) Smith.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Walter Robert Howie; and sister, Margarie Essex.

Memorial contributions may be made to the donor’s choice or Sparta Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at