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BILLINGS – Dean Howell, 89, passed away suddenly at St. Vincent Hospital in  Billings, on Monday, March 15, 2010.

Dean was born in McCammon, Idaho, on Oct. 14, 1920 to Leo and Andrea (Jensen) Howell.

Dean married Virginia (Ginny) Mortensen in Charlo,  on Oct. 5, 1940. Dean and Ginny began their life together as poor beet farmers in Moiese. During World War II, Dean worked in a defense plant in Seattle. After the war, Dean returned to farming until 1946 when he and his family relocated to Pennsylvania where he mastered the art of chick sexing. In 1951 he and his family returned to Polson. Dean traveled throughout Montana sexing baby chicks for various hatcheries. In 1958 Dean became a Montana state poultry inspector. He and Ginny traveled the state testing flocks for salmonella bacteria. In 1963, the Howell family relocated to Billings and Dean became a federal meat inspector for the state of Montana. Dean and Ginny moved to Roundup, when Dean was transferred to work at Sietz and Bowers Meat Plant in 1971. Dean worked at the Roundup plant until retiring in 1985. Dean loved going to auction sales; buying low and selling high. He enjoyed taking trips with the fossil and mineral club in Roundup. In 1996, Dean and Ginny purchased a summer home in Polson and wintered in southern California at the fountain of youth. In 2005 Dean and Ginny returned to Billings. Dean never met a stranger and enjoyed having coffee with the guys, no matter what town he happened to be in.

Dean is survived by his wife of almost 70 years, Ginny. He also leaves behind daughter Peggy Pick (Steve) of Billings; and sons Leo Howell (Barbara) of Bellows Falls, Vt., Peter Howell (Polly) of Wingate, N.C. and Michael Howell (Karen) of Billings. Dean leaves eight grandchildren, Amber Hrubes (Allen) of Glendive, Jason Aerni (Leigh) of Greely, Colo., Heather Golder (Jeffrey) of Brooklyn, N.Y., Judd Aerni (Colleen) of Roundrock, Texas, Aaron Howell of Bozeman, Korrie Schauer of Billings, Andrew Howell of Missoula and Daniel Howell of Billings; and 6 great-grandchildren Layton Hrubes, Kristopher Schauer, Taya Howell, Penelope Aerni, Ireland Aerni and Natalie Aerni.

Dean was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Jensen Howell (Mary), Reed Howell (Marge); and sister Vanetta Brower (Ed).

Dean was a 43 year survivor of insulin-dependent diabetes and lived a long and healthy life due to the undivided attention from his loving wife, Ginny.

A funeral service will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. March 18, at the Cremation and Funeral Gallery, 29 8th St. West, Billings. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 20, in Polson, at the Lakeview Cemetery, with Bishop Gordon Terry officiating. A gathering will follow at the Polson LDS Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association.

Condolences may be sent online to www.cfgbillings.com.

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