Troy Wayne Howlett

Troy Wayne Howlett

Godly, altruistic, philanthropist, selfless, eccedentesiast

From the moment Troy was born, there was something godly and different about him. He was raised in the church, had a great childhood, a wonderful brother, Adam, who good-naturedly pranked him, and parents who loved him. Troy was a kind and giving soul, always putting people before himself. He was handsome, popular, and inclusive. He would often lunch with people with special needs or students who were marginalized by others, so they weren’t sitting by themselves.

Though his parents divorced when he was in 3rd grade, he and his dad had a good relationship. They liked to fish together and would spend Sunday afternoons in his dad’s garage chatting and repairing fishing poles. Troy had fond memories of his dad taking him to his first professional football game to see the Florida Gators and had pictures in his room of them in the arena.

When Troy was a senior in high school, he sustained serious injuries when he was accidentally thrown off a car, run over, and dragged. For a year he was on pain pills, which started his addiction. When the pills were no longer prescribed, he sought them on the street. He went to multiple treatment centers, fighting hard to get off drugs. He was abstinent from drugs for six months, and on probation for a drug offense, when the police coerced him to be an informant to make drug buys for them. Despite his and his mother’s protests, he made some buys and skimmed a pill off the top; it was pure fentanyl and fatal. Since Troy’s death, Donna has worked with legislators in the general assembly to introduce Troy’s Bill in 2022, which outlines strict rules for use of informants.

After his death, his mom read Troy’s journal. In his beautiful handwriting on each page, he had a Bible verse and asked God to take away his addiction, then wrote about ways he could help others and finished with a prayer. His mom is proud of him for turning his life around, being devout to God, and putting his whole heart into helping people. He lived by his mother’s words “Every day you should wake up, thank the Lord for another day and think of one way you can help people.”

Every year, the entire extended family of 60+ people rent a compound at White Lake. It was Troy’s favorite place. He loved time with family and all the activities they did together. His nephew Talan was often by Troy’s side. He was hoping there was ketchup in Heaven as they both liked it and asked if Uncle Troy could be mailed a phone in Heaven so he could talk with him.

Donna started a non-profit to help others in need. “Until I take my last breath on earth, I will mourn my son, and be his voice,” she said. She gets strength from knowing that “God has my baby and one day I will see him again.”

Troy’s mother, Donna Watson, provided the information for this narrative.

July 20, 1987-July 30, 2018

Age 31-Lived with the disease of addiction 13 years

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