Robert Marshall Eilenberger Howell, 79, of Stroudsburg, died Wednesday morning, March 26th, at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. Born in Amityville, Long Island, New York, on June 11, 1934, he was the son of the late Robert Marshall Howell and Alma Olga Maass. He grew up in western Pennsylvania, in Kittanning, Ruffsdale, and Greensburg, and then returned to Long Island as a teen-ager. He graduated from Sewanhaka High School, served in and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, completed his B.A. at Gettysburg College in 1959, received his M.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1970, and his A.B.D. from New York University,...
Robert Marshall Eilenberger Howell, 79, of Stroudsburg, died Wednesday morning, March 26th, at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. Born in Amityville, Long Island, New York, on June 11, 1934, he was the son of the late Robert Marshall Howell and Alma Olga Maass. He grew up in western Pennsylvania, in Kittanning, Ruffsdale, and Greensburg, and then returned to Long Island as a teen-ager. He graduated from Sewanhaka High School, served in and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, completed his B.A. at Gettysburg College in 1959, received his M.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1970, and his A.B.D. from New York University, 1980.
Rob was an Associate Professor of Theatre at East Stroudsburg University from 1965 to 1994. He began his theatrical career with the Lutheran Foundation for Religious Drama in New York City. He acted in over 100 plays, including Community Theater, off-off Broadway, and summer stock. His favorite roles included Becket in Murder in the Cathedral, George in who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Dr. Martin Dysart in Equus, and Father Farley in Mass Appeal. Venues included the Cherry Lane Opera House, Playhouse by the River, Shawnee Theater, and ESU. He and his former wife were instrumental in formation of the Phoenix Players, a community theater group. He directed more than 100 plays, including The Crucible, Godspell, Streets of New York, The Glass Menagerie, Blues for Mr. Charlie, A Dream Play, A Streetcar Named Desire, Rashomon, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Fiddler on the Roof, East Lynne, Three-Penny Opera, and the list goes on. After his retirement his love of theater continued and he both acted and directed. He was the voice of George Eastman in a PBS documentary.
Rob was an avid gardener and was included in the Monroe County Garden Club tour. He loved to travel, immersing himself in different cultures. Rob had a passion for languages and spoke fluent German, studied Italian during his year-long sabbatical in Italy, and navigated French and Spanish with aplomb. While living in Reggio di Calabria, he translated Italian art-piece descriptions into English for their museum.
He did extensive genealogical research on his family in the United States and Germany, visiting rural churches and reading baptismal records. His research extended back to the 1500's. These efforts produced a detailed book of his ancestry encompassing not only his immediate family, but the families of his siblings and grandchildren.
He was a deeply spiritual human being and a founding member of what is now The Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of the Poconos, being actively involved until his death.
Preceding him in death was his former wife Joan Puknat Howell, mother of his two children.
Surviving are his partner of 38 years, Anne Tiracchia of Stroudsburg, two children, Suzanne Howell Bennett of Brandon, VT, Robert Jason Howell and his wife Christine of Methuen, MA, Anne's children, Nicholas D. Ray and wife Helene of Roquefort-les-Pins, France, Lucia M. Ray of Lund, Sweden, sisters Jeannette Potts of York, PA, Joy Worontzoff and husband Edward of Waynesboro, VA, brother Theodore Howell and wife Rebecca of Flat Rock, NC, grandchildren, Olivia Alma Gaissert and Nathaniel Robert Gaissert of Brandon VT, Robert Liam Howell, Siobhan Delia Howell and Owen Marshall Howell of Methuen, MA, Alexander D. Ray and Marianne C. Ray of Roquefort-les-Pins, France, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was a wonderful father and will be remembered with love by his family as well as by the many people whose lives he touched.
Interment will be private and at the convenience of the family.
The Memorial Service will held at 1 pm Saturday April 12 at the Cecilia Cohen Recital Hall, Fine and Performing Arts Center of East Stroudsburg University. Officiating will be Reverend Kim D. Wilson of the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of the Poconos.
In lieu of flowers, cards may be sent c/o Lanterman and Allen Funeral Home, 27 Washington St., East Stroudsburg, PA, 18301, or donations may be made in his memory to the Phoenix Players Scholarship Fund, payable to the ESU Foundation, Attention: Laurie Schaller, 200 Prospect St., East Stroudsburg, PA 18301-2999 or to the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of the Poconos, P. O. Box 756, Stroudsburg, PA 18360, www.UUPoconos.org.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Lanterman & Allen Funeral Home, Inc. 27 Washington Street, East Stroudsburg where online condolences can be made at www.lantermanallenfh.com