Beloved veteran Knoxville journalist Sherri Gardner Howell, whose “beat” for the past five years has been columnist for KnoxTNToday, passed away suddenly Tuesday afternoon in Kingston, Jamaica. She was 67.
Neville Howell, Sherri’s husband, said she started feeling unwell Sunday while they were on a Caribbean cruise. The ship put in at the Coast Guard port at Kingston so that she could be airlifted to a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but she died at the airport.
She was diagnosed with arterial pulmonary hypertension six years ago, and that was the apparent cause of death.
Sherri started working for the Knoxville News Sentinel while she was a journalism student at the University of Tennessee. She became a popular feature writer and columnist and at one point served as entertainment editor. She left the News Sentinel to become publisher of Blount Today, where she became a treasured advocate for the Blount County community. After it closed, she became a columnist for KnoxTNToday. Here is a link to last week’s column
In addition to her writing gigs, she had launched a new venture as a travel agent under the nameplate SGH Go Travel. Cruising was her passion, and she had many more trips planned.
In addition to her loving husband, she is survived by her sons Trey (Kinsey) of Nashville and Brett (Olivia Neal) of Seattle and three grandsons who were the lights of her life: King, Cohen and Gardner. She also leaves to mourn her brother, Tim Gardner of Lexington, Tenn.; a host of extended family; and countless friends, including her best friend of 55 years, Michelle Brewer of Knoxville.
Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.