Dillard W. “Buz” Howell II, 64, died Saturday, May 28, of a massive stroke he suffered the day before on his beloved hobby farm in Greenfield.
He was retired from Eli Lilly and Company after serving more than 20 years there as chief of global security. Mr. Howell created the pharmaceutical giant’s anti-counterfeiting division, which became the model for like operations at other global drug companies, and he remained a sought-after security consultant after retirement. Before his tenure at Lilly, Mr. Howell served in the FBI for more than a decade as an expert hostage negotiator, investigator, and trainer at Quantico, the FBI’s headquarters outside Washington, D.C. He was a graduate of University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and earned his Master’s degree in journalism there. An avid and accomplished golfer, Mr. Howell competed in the PGA for years and retained many friendships among professional golfers on the senior tour. In retirement, he relished helping young golfers improve their games at Arrowhead Golf Course in Greenfield. He was born in Taylorsville, Ill., and lived in many cities growing up as his father also was in the FBI and the family moved wherever J. Edgar Hoover desired. Before his retirement, Mr. Howell had been a member of the U.S. State Department Overseas Advisory Council, and of several liaison groups comprised of corporate security directors across various major companies. He had been appointed by former Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon to the Indiana Homeland Security Commission as chairman of the preparedness committee for the heavy industry private sector group. He also served by gubernatorial appointment as private sector representative on the integrated Public Safety Commission. He was a past president, Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, Indiana Chapter; a past board member, Commission for Downtown Indianapolis, Safety and Security Committee; and a past board member, Indianapolis Police Athletic League Club, to assist inner-city youth. Mr. Howell also successfully completed the Harvard Business School Executive Development Program, and during his FBI days was awarded the Jackson, Miss., Jaycees "Outstanding Young Law Enforcement Officer of the Year."
He is survived by his beloved wife, Joan (Schwartz); daughters Julie Taylor, Brooke (Ricky) Martin, and Abbey Howell, all of Fla.; and Lauren Todd, Chicago; and son, Daniel Todd, Greenfield; his sister, Nancy (Frank) Kallinger, Indianapolis; his mother, Dorothy (Mathis) Howell, Indianapolis; and many beloved pets, including dogs, cats and horses, among which is his personal mount, “Dixie.”
His father, Dillard W. “Dixie” Howell, and his brother, Jeff Howell, preceded him in death.
A memorial gathering will begin at 2 p.m., with services at 3 p.m., Thursday, June 2, at Aaron-Ruben-Nelson Mortuary, 11411 N. Michigan Road, Zionsville. Private interment will be at Oak Lawn Cemetery. Mr. Howell will be remembered most for his generous spirit, grace under fire, and genuine care for others, as well as his great love for his family.