Bill Howley, 62, of Chloe, West Virginia, died on April 23 in a car accident near Exit 79 on I-79. He was on his way to a meeting in his capacity as the recently-hired program director for WV SUN, an organization that promotes self-reliance through solar cooperatives in West Virginia. His last views were almost surely of the beautiful spring leaves and redbud blossoms.|
Bill was born in Washington, D.C., to William J. and Sally N. Howley. He found his true home on the farm that he and his wife, Loren, built together in Calhoun County after meeting in college. He passed innumerable teachings to their two sons, and he delighted in showing the farm to his two grandchildren.
Bill attended McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Md., and received a B.A. from Yale University in 1974 and an M.B.A. from Ohio University.
In addition to his life as a farmer, Bill worked tirelessly to improve the lives of West Virginians. For many years, he advised artists and arts organizations on community projects throughout West Virginia and Ohio. He also coached and umpired children's sports teams, organized community classes on Shakespeare, tutored and mentored many children, and was involved in various community organizations. Bill provided research and business assistance to various local law firms, including his wife Loren's.
In recent years, Bill became a leading consumer advocate on energy issues. He was an organizer of the successful fight against the PATH transmission line, which would have increased electric costs for ratepayers. He founded The Power Line, a widely read online information source about the electricity industry and renewable energy issues. During and after the 2014 water contamination crisis in Charleston, Bill contributed his expertise and strategy skills to help organize citizens demanding reform.
His survivors include his wife of 40 years, Loren; his children, Jacob Howley and Maria Paoletti, of Mount Rainier, MD, and Isaac Howley and Bilqis Rock, of Baltimore, MD; his grandchildren, Khymi Russell and Solomon Howley-Paoletti; his brother and sister-in-law, John and Nora Howley, of Silver Spring, MD; his nephew, Joseph Howley, of New York, NY; and his niece, Malka Howley, of Philipsburg, MI.
Bill touched the lives of other family members and countless friends and colleagues, who will remember his passion, intellect, and humor.
A memorial service will be held for Bill at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at Heartwood in the Hills, 229 Heartwood Lane, Big Bend, WV 26136. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Heartwood in the Hills or to the Community Power Network, 1826 Lamont Street NW, Washington, DC 20010.