Words by Karen Coates, Oral Health Content Specialist at the Oral Health Foundation, 14/02/23
We are sad to announce the sudden passing of our dear friend and colleague, Simon Howell.
Simon was Director of Campaigns for the Oral Health Foundation (previously the British Dental Health Foundation) from 2004 to 2014. He previously worked at Smile-On learning, so came to the Oral Health Foundation with a wealth of industry knowledge.
During his time at the Oral Health Foundation, Simon was at the forefront of delivering our public oral health awareness message, with major campaigns such as National Smile Month and Mouth Cancer Action Month. He was also instrumental in spreading the ethos and mantra of the Oral Health Foundation, both in the UK and overseas.
Through the years, Simon built up many great relationships within the dental profession and industry, and these resulted in friendships that were to last for many years. Simon was always especially popular at dental shows, due to his infectious enthusiasm and energy.
In the office, Simon was a huge character, with many a tale and a ‘dad joke’ or three. We fondly remember the tales such as how the double stitched seam on his KooGa shorts saved him from a major injury when the ladder broke whilst he was cleaning his boat. His sense of humour was legendary and more often than not, groan-worthy too. Since we heard the shocking news of his passing, we have spent several hours remembering all of his nicknames for people and his wonderful stories and jokes, with love and smiles.
Simon was genuinely interested in people and took the time to build friendships with everyone he met. When he retired in 2014 after 10 years, his presence was greatly missed by us all at the Oral Health Foundation.
After he retired in 2014, Simon and his beloved wife, Julie moved to Oradour-Sur-Vavres, Limousin in France, where he spent his remaining years.
We send our thoughts and condolences to his much-loved family, wife Julie, son James, daughter-in-law Rita and precious granddaughter Beatrice.
Simon was larger-than-life, thoughtful, kind, selfless and great fun! Our lives are richer for having him in them and the world is a sadder place without him.
Simon, you were a true bon vivant, a great friend, and an absolute gentleman. You will be remembered with a smile and with much love.