Julius Ammons Howell, M.D.
1914 – 2008
Julius Ammons Howell, M.D. died at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center on Thursday, March 13, 2008. He was born in Thomasville, North Carolina on April 14, 1914 to Cyrus Maitland and Lillie Mae Ammons Howell. He received his Bachelor of Law degree from Wake Forest University in 1935 and a Bachelor of Science in 1940. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1943 and completed his early surgical training at that institution. In 1949, he returned to Bowman Gray School of Medicine and completed a residency in Otolaryngology. In 1952, he began his plastic and reconstructive surgery training at The Hospital University of Wisconsin. His training was interrupted by a tour of duty in the United States Army, where he served as Captain until 1953. During his military service, he was the personal physician of Syngman Rhee, President of South Korea. Dr. Howell received the Bronze Star Medal, among other distinguished medals for meritorious service in Korea in connection with military operations against an armed enemy during the period of June 1953-July 1954. Dr. Howell completed his plastic surgery training at the New York Hospital at Cornell University and returned to Bowman Gray School of Medicine to become Instructor in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1957. At that time, he was the second plastic surgeon practicing in the entire State of North Carolina. Dr. Howell was promoted to Professor of Surgery in 1972 and served as the Chairman of the Section on Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from 1973-1979. He was named the Professor Emeritus of Plastic Surgery at Bowman Gray School of Medicine. He entered into private practice in 1984 in Winston-Salem. Dr. Howell was a member of many professional organizations. He was nationally renowned for his contributions and expertise in the medical-legal field. Of great enjoyment to him, was a medical-legal course he taught periodically at Wake Forest University School of Law. He chaired the Medical-Legal Committee of the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee for the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. He was a member of the Southeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons, The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, and The American Association of Plastic Surgeons. In 1995, The Julius Ammons Howell Chair in Surgery was established in his honor at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. As a physician and community servant, he contributed significantly to the welfare of the people of Winston-Salem and the State of North Carolina. His medical career spanned over 50 productive years. His literary contributions were extensive as an author to many medical and medico-legal textbooks, journals, and articles. Dr. Howell dedicated his long life to the benefit and compassionate care of his patients, while embodying true devotion to his family and faithfully serving the medical profession. Loved by his patients, admired by students and staff, and respected by colleagues, Dr. Howell was recognized for his many contributions to medicine on the state and national level, his kindness to all he encountered, and his outstanding surgical skills. He was a man and doctor of the highest integrity and ethic to his fellow human being. Dr. Howell is survived by his wife of 57 years, Anne Southern Howell, his three daughters, Anne Howell Gray of Atlanta, Karen Ammons Howell of Charlotte, and Robin Rhodes Howell of Charlotte; his grandchildren, Julia Howell Gray of Chapel Hill and Atlanta, and Alexander Gladesborough Gray of Charlottesville, Virginia and Atlanta; his son-in-law, Bernard Gray of Atlanta. He is survived by his twin brother, Dr. Charles Maitland Howell of Winston-Salem. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, March 18th 11:00 at The First Baptist Church officiated by Dr. David Hughes. A private family graveside is planned. With deep gratitude, the family wishes to thank all of Dr. Howell’s caregivers, each of whom contributed greatly to his wonderful and accomplished life in later years. He lived each day embracing the best of life’s offerings while validating the respect and dignity with which he chose to live his life. He was the true embodiment of a gentleman, husband, father, grandfather, brother, and doctor.