Mrs. Howell was born January 6, 1927, at Georgia Baptist Hospital. She attended high school in
Pasadena, CA, before moving to Atlanta and graduating from Girl’s High in 1946.
Barbara briefly attended Georgia State University before beginning a singing career that would
take her all the way to Broadway!
Barbara took voice lessons from John Hoffman, a renowned voice and music teacher in Atlanta,
who later served as a surrogate father after the death of Barbara’s natural father in 1945.
Under Hoffman’s tutelage, Barbara sang lead with five operettas sponsored by the Atlanta Civic
Opera Company. Barbara also sang with several Christian Radio programs and performed classical
music and musical comedy at Chastain Park and the Fox Theatre with Albert Coleman’s
Summer Civic Opera Company.
Mr. Hoffman was influential in introducing Barbara to Broadway, where she appeared in the musicals
“Heaven on Earth” and “Song of Norway” with which she toured for seven months on the road
in 1948-49. Barbara later signed with Louie Shurr, a well-known talent agent in New York, who
helped advance her career on Broadway.
Barbara met her husband Don Howell in 1949. They courted for six months during Don’s senior
year at Georgia Tech and got married two months before his graduation! After marriage, Barbara
continued her singing career as a lead vocalist in several Atlanta churches, including Peachtree
Road Methodist Church where she was the lead soprano for thirteen years.
In 1955 Don Howell started a business out of his home, for which Barbara served as the first employee.
She handled all the secretary work while raising their children!
The Howell’s have three married children—Don Jr. and Jennifer, who are in full-time Christian service,
and Robin, who is a successful businesswoman. They are also proud of their six grandchildren,
three of which are in full-time Christian service, and eleven great-grandchildren, ages two
months to seven years.