Virginia Faye Bratcher Howell

Published 12:00 pm Friday, May 17, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

 FORT WORTH – Virginia Faye Bratcher Howell, known affectionately as Ginny, passed away on Friday, May 3, 2024, at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

     Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 18th, 2024, from 10:45 AM until 11:45 (EDT) at the Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Lanett, Alabama. Graveside services will be held following visitation at 12:00 noon at Oakwood Cemetery in Lanett. Dr. Eric Howell will officiate.

     Ginny was born October 20, 1945, in Jesup, Georgia to Clyde and Virginia Bratcher. She attended elementary through high school in Alma and earned a degree in nursing at Piedmont Nursing School in Atlanta. In the summer of 1964, she had a blind date with a student engineer from Auburn University, George Howell, and they were married on April 16, 1966. They lived in Arizona for a year of study and then moved to Ft. Worth, Texas in 1968 as her husband pursued a job in the aerospace industry. Ginny worked in a doctor’s office as a registered nurse (RN) for twelve years and then turned to full-time mother and homemaker. She was involved in church and numerous community activities.

Email newsletter signup

     Ginny found joy in raising her two children and actively supporting their school’s projects, events, and initiatives from preschool through high school. This included Museum Preschool, Ridglea Elementary, William James Magnet Middle School, and Arlington Heights High School with many committee memberships and leadership positions. She was also heavily involved in the Junior Woman’s Club and the Woman’s Club of Fort Worth. At various times, she was a member of Achezez!, Round Table, Etta Newby, Study Club, and Epicure and served on various committees.

     In the vernacular of the South, Ginny was a Southern Belle and a “steel magnolia”. Her humor and wit blossomed when she and three friends formed the Southern Belles, a readers theatre group that entertained many Fort Worth clubs and audiences with excerpts from comedic contemporary books about Southern women. Her primary passion was cooking. She loved to cook for her family and also to host friends into her home. From her shelves of cookbooks, there was rarely a recipe that passed through her kitchen without her personal adjustment to make it better. She was a wonderful hostess and spoke with care to uplift the spirits of her guests.

     Ginny grew up in a small-town Baptist Church, where she spent ten years of her childhood climbing to the top of the ladder of the Girls Auxiliary (GA’s). Through this experience, she developed exceptionally strong Christian beliefs and value system. Her most proud moment was being ordained as a Deacon for Broadway Baptist Church in 2005 where she was involved in multiple committees and outreach programs, including an exceptional music ministry. She participated in several year-long study classes that covered every book in the Bible. Ginny was known in church as the “Shower Queen”, which was a title earned from coordinating fifty-five formal showers for young brides over about a decade. She and other ladies of the church would team up with their best serving dishes and recipes to put on a spectacular event. She said her mission was to provide a good experience for the brides so they would know the love of the church as they began their marriages. Her presence in our lives will be remembered with joy and gratitude.

     Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, Melvin Clyde and Ruby Virginia Bratcher; sister, Mary Roebuck; brother Melvin Bratcher.

     She is survived by her loving husband, George Howell; son Eric and his wife, Jennifer of Waco; daughter, Emily Voelkel and her husband Todd of Sugarland; grandchildren Lara, Lily, and Jimmy Howell, and Annabelle and Abigail Voelkel. The family has special appreciation for Vicky Meza who provided loving care to Ginny during her long illness.

     In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County at 2131 E. Lancaster Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76102 Please visit Virginia’s Memorial Tribute page at to leave a kind word for her family, to share a memory of Virginia, or to light a Remembrance Candle in her memory.

     Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Lanett directing.