Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina
What a beautiful celebration of the life of a beautiful man! I am so sorry for the loss of your husband, father, brother and our friend. I was fortunate to work with Howell at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis on Babes In Arms. What an inspiration he was. We confided in each other about family and he lifted my spirits daily. The words that you all spoke about him were wonderful to hear. I was glad to hear that he eventually found a relationship with his daughter...because he so often told me how much he loved her. I was happy to hear that he found sobriety...and that he realized that he didn't need any substances to be great at what he did. I'm so very happy that he found Joyce to spend the rest of his life with. Although I don't know you, I can tell that you were exactly what he needed and I'm so glad that he found such happiness. I left the theatre many years ago, so I did not know until yesterday (5/6/21) that Howell had passed. I'm so saddened that he will not be around to light up the world with his genuine spirit and positivity, but I'm certain that he looks down on all of us and guides us from above. My thoughts are with you all as we quickly come around to a 1 year anniversary of his passing. May God grant you all peace and may you feel his love for you everyday .
Howell was such an inspiration to me and his work inspired me to choose lighting design as my career. He will be missed.
Dix Hills, NY
Howell helped shape my career, I had been offered a Broadway show as Production Electrician and a job at ETC at virtually the same time. Howell was to be the Lighting Designer and I was leaning toward the show, he quit and my choice was made. I started at ETC the next week and took my career in an entirely different direction. I texted him a week or two before he passed and he was on the golf course, happy. Thanks, Howell!
With huge admiration.
Falls Church, VA
I did a story for LD+A magazine in the 90s on Howell's designs for "Whistle Down the Wind" in DC. After our phone interview, I had more questions so he invited over to his house (yes, house!) in the West Village where we talked and drank beer on his patio! In subsequent years I would run into him at theaters (most recently at Arlington's Signature) or at professional events and he was always the kindest, friendliest, warmest person. Great guy. He will be missed!
Morehead City NC
What a fabulous tribute to a wonderful man and friend. I watched through smiles and tears. Howell would love the fellowship idea. He was always so kind to the young people and kids in local theatre here in Carteret County. He always had time for them and they were star struck. When this pandemic is over I hope that the lights will go up again in our small theatre and if and when they do, it will be in no small part because of Howell Binkley.
Kayla Gordon and Art Maister
So sorry for your loss. We adored Howell. He was an amazing person with the most gentle spirit. Our heart goes out to Joyce and the family. May his memory be a blessing to you always. xo/Kayla and Art
Croton on Hudson, NY
Deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Howell, from a long-time friend and colleague
Croton on Hudson, NY
Deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Howell, from a long-time friend and colleague
Owings Mills, MD
A wonderful and amazingly talented man. He is truly missed. Sending peace to all.
Lisa And Walter Benton
Sending all my love to you, Joyce.
New York, New York
I am so grateful to have know Howell and been a friend and colleague. We will miss him is so many ways and our love and support goes to Joyce and his family.
Cape Cod, MA
I am sending my love and big Howell style smiles to all of you. It is impossible really that he has left us, and even more so that coming together in person to celebrate him and his legacy is also impossible. Nevertheless, know he is missed, he will continue to be missed, and we will keep him very much in our presence when we come back to our work in the theater. Howell has been so much a part of my creative life in this work. So much a part of the way I experience it. I am deeply proud to have known him, to have worked with him, to have called him my friend.
such a terrible loss.
Morehead City NC
Such a wonderful person. I miss his FB posts and his texts. I never see a beautiful sunset that I don't think of him. I bet the lighting in heaven is spectacular.
West Barnstable Massachusetts (Cape Cod)
No Words- Only Light........
Thank You Sir for being a Great Friend. I Loved Us. Keep Darren in line. I so look forward to seeing you both again. Joyce and Zoe anything, anytime.
I learnt more from Howell than from any other creative. Not about sound design (by his own admission he wasn't very good at that), but about how to conduct myself in a room and how to be a good human being. I'll miss reading the papers by the pool in companionable silence, and quiet dinners in previously undiscovered restaurants. Others will follow but none will surpass.
New York City
As a theater director I worked with Howell on 3 shows, all at the Dallas Theater Center when I was Artistic Director there. Howell Binkley was a prince of a collaborator; adventurous, jazzy, fun, versatile, flexible, unpretentious and extraordinarily skilled. No one else I know of had his combination of spontaneity and discipline. and he carried on both the traditions of Tom Skelton and Jennifer Tipton in the unstuffiest ways. Everything about his lights was rhythmic and musical. He'd try anything, lived in the moment and was always a truly gentle person. He always spoke tenderly about his family and was as loyal & generous to his friends as anyone can ever be. He appreciated every single person who worked in a theater; electricians to Artistic Directors alike. A beautiful soul. I will miss Howell more than I can say.
Overton, NV and New York, NY
So sorry. I know you are missing Howell and his smile and his warmth. Sunsets art sea will always be for him.
He was a great, kind, brilliant man.
Joyce, you know I'm thinking about you a lot with big hugs and lots of love.
New York, NY
Your kindness, humor and lighting genius will be missed. Rest in peace.
Victoria Jarvis (Perry)
Saint John, NB
Joyce, I’m so sorry for you and your families loss! Although I never met Howell I can tell he was a great man and well loved! Hugs to you and your family!
West Orange, NJ
I met Howell in Seattle and he was a true gentleman and THE lighting designer of all lighting designers. His class and kindness will be missed.
Thank you Howell, for you kindness, generosity, joy, beautiful work, and leadership.
New York, NY
My heart is so full, being able to share in this beautiful, joyful service. Thank you for that extraordinary gift, and for being able to hear the wonderful tributes. Dear Joyce, I carry you in my prayers.
Winnipeg, MB , Canada
My dear Joyce,
I would like to send my sincerest sympathies to you, Zoe and the rest of Howell’s loving posse. Altho’ I met your dear Howell on only a couple Of occasions, I know your bond was strong and will continue to be. Much love to you and may Howell’s memory be eternal! His light and love will continue to shine brightly!!
South Bend, IN
Thank you for sharing this for those of us who could not be in North Carolina. Hal and I crossed and recrossed paths for close to fifty years starting at NCSA and Reynolds Auditorium and for the last time in Chicago at the Majestic. He was a good and generous friend; generous with praise, with respect, with friendship, encouragement, and always with joy and good humor. A vital soul who will stay with me for years to come. My prayers are with you all.
George and Kathryn Doughart
36 Avondale Road Vernon River PEI, C0A 2E0
When we learned of your loss our foremost thought was of the added hurt for you with the separation from family and friends on PEI at such a difficult time. As we watched the Memorial Service we were pleased to see the large numbers in attendance with you. What a fine tribute! So good to see Veda and Gordon with you.
The Service was very meaningful. You honoured your loved one in a thoughtful and appropriate way. The use of “Love Shells” was a novel idea and as we saw individuals place a love shell on Howell’s casket, it was evident that the action was very meaningful for most.
You crafted a beautiful tribute to your husband and you delivered it purposefully. Bless you!
Know that we care and we have been thinking of you since news of your loss was shared. We hope that in the days ahead you will have the active support of friends nearby and that you will also know and feel the love of those afar who also care.
In sympathy and friendship,
Kathryn and George
My sincere condolences to you and your daughter.
Carol Love, MD
Penn Valley, PA
So glad Zoe got to know her dad. And so glad we got to meet him several times including her graduation lunch and at the house in North Carolina. He was a loving gracious and incredibly talented man and I am so proud to have known him.
Silver Spring, MD
Howell, you were there from the very start of my career, and always willing to try something different. We worked together many times, but I will always remember standing outside a tiny theater in New Jersey in the middle of winter and chatting. Peace and Light!
Just completely heartbroken over the loss of Howell Binkley. Howell, I am so very lucky to have known you and worked with you on some truly amazing shows where I got to witness the brilliance of your designs. Thank you for your art, your wisdom, your talent, and your love. Thank you for always telling me I looked fabulous every time we started tech, no matter how jet lagged I was, and for giving me peanut butter cups off your tech table. I will continue to show your lighting designs to my students, to make sure my upstage border on Come From Away is at the correct height, and I know I speak for everyone who has worked with you or had the pleasure of knowing you when I say that we will miss you so, so incredibly much. You will live forever in our hearts, and your work will live forever in Broadway history.
Rest In Peace .. prayers for family and friends..
Washington DC area
My heart was so heavy as the memorial service started - but I was lifted up by the beautiful tributes and stories about our twinkling eyed Howell. Working with him for 28 years has left me with some incredible memories. - I will cherish them always. Joyce, Zoe - and to all who loved Howell - may peace be found in these endless tributes - may they carry you through this difficult time. Whenever I see a stunning sunset I will remember my friend - kiss my fingers and raise them to the sky. Much love.
Rest In Peace ❤️
Dear Joyce and Zoe. I wish I could have been there in person to give my respects. Thinking of you both in the days that follow knowing what a hole he has left in everyone’s life. Live and Light. Miss you Sir. D
Howell was one of the first lighting designers I assisted. He had just received his TONY nomination for KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, and I was very nervous at meeting him. Ha! He started immediately with practical jokes, even pretending to be me when introductions were made to the show photographer. Twenty-five years later he was giving me the most heartfelt congratulations on receiving my own TONY award. I'm so grateful for his antics, sincerity and enormous presence in the lighting community. Rest well Howell.
Rest in peace, thank you for the lessons. Prayers with your family at this time
Sorry to learn of Howell's passing he was a fantastic Lighting Designer and friend ever since I first worked with him on "Kiss of the Spiderwoman" here in the West End in the mid-nineties and all those great shows since then. It was a pleasure to see you and Howell when you were over in our side of the pond during "Come From Away". I will always remember his big smile and southern charm and he will be sorely missed. all our thoughts are with you and the rest of your family at this difficult time, best wishes, Peter
I did not know Howell well; only met him a small # of times at conferences, etc. That being said, I am a college professor and have had a couple of my graduates work with Howell on quite a few productions. They all were so incredibly complimentary of him as a mentor, a friend, and a passionate artist. I knew him well through his work, which never failed to stun me with its economy, its laser-sharp focus, and its beauty that always enhanced the inner meaning of the play, musical, or dance. Thank you, Howell, for providing so many of us with inspiration through your art, and I send condolences to Howell's family.
My deepest condolences to Howell's family. Over 40 years, it was always joyous when we found ourselves together.
Marcie Kay Kirkpatrick and Link Lauren
Joyce and Zoe, what a touchingly beautiful service. It opened a floodgate of memories. I am so grateful that Howell was a part of my life and for the past 19years a part of my son's life. I learned so much and I am so sad that he is gone.
I have never known a more
gentle man. I can see him giving God that big smile and bear hug. Rest in peace, Howell.
New York, NY
Howell, the mere mention of your name never ceases to make me smile as I think of the huge, welcoming smile that was always on your face. The world is better for having had you in it. Peace, love & light on your journey.
Jersey City, NJ
We send our deepest, heartfelt condolences to Howell's family, theater family and dearest loved ones. He was a living legend with a talent and generosity that rose above the heads of giants in the field. It was an honor to be in his presence and he will be missed, but never forgotten. Rest in peace, Howell.
Atlantic Beach, NC
God be with you Joyce, Zoe and the entire family and friends. Bink will be greatly missed. RIP my sweet friend.
RIP my friend❣️
New York NY
Howell is and was a true artist, a warm and caring father figure and mentor, and amazing fun to be around. He leaves behind an army of caring artists that he mentored and encouraged - the theatre, and the world, is a better place far having him in it. I was lucky to know him, and am lucky to have the opportunity to continue to work with the people that Howell brought up. We'll miss him.
Thank you for your friendship! You will be missed by so many of us! Rest In Peace my Friend!
A great loss to our industry, a greater loss to his family and friends.
What a lovely man and amazing artist. Thanks for your inspiration and you light.
Pete and Jacqui Donovan
Thanks for the love and light, Howell. We send our condolences to your loving family.
My first followspot job in NYC was with The Acting Company, The Cradle Will Rock. I was front light for Howell on a number of Broadway shows. A joy, a genius, and a gentleman.
Howell was who I wanted to be when I grew up.
Champaign urbana, Illinois
‘So grateful to you for sharing this brilliant and lovely man .
I hope all of the love coming back to you will soften your pain, and bring you comfort.
A true Artist and Gentleman- it was a privilege to have crossed your path.
I was there but I need to listen to Zoe. Randy and Joyce again. Didn't catch it all once the tears began to flow.
Chicago , Illinois
I never met Howell outside of email , but saw
His work many times.
His work was that of a genius, and he will be sorely missed. Love to his friends and family
Alum of In The Heights. Love and light to all missing you. We’ll look for that ray of light from up above letting us know you’re doing okay.
It was always a pleasure sir. Sending love to Joyce, Zoe, John and all of Howell’s family and friends.
Mark & Paula Marseglia
A light that shines as bright as Howell’s radiates infinitely and lasts forever because it touches so many other lives. That is the true gift of this wonderful man.
Steve Shelley & Judy Schoenfeld
New York City
Our condolences to Hal's family.
Such a sad day. My heart goes out to his family.
A man who I met when Jeff Turner sent me to help Howell back on the 80s on a show with the order to "listen to him and dont f**k up". We became fast friends.
The stages are darker today with the loss of his artistry.
Liz Colley Johnson
What a bright light! Joyce and family, our condolences. Love from an old Dayspringer.
Many of the proudest moments of my directing and producing work were touched by Howell's incredible artistry. Many of the most cherished moments of my career were spent working and hanging out with him. I feel so lucky to have known such a remarkable, marvelous man. Rest in peace, dear Bink.
West Salem, Oregon
Your beautiful spirit was always loving light, creative, fun, and inspiring teacher, friend, forever your sincere smile and laughter will always be with me <3
Your words of comfort during difficult times forever lift me. You are missed <3
Calgary, AB Canada
Howell’s work has always been an inspiration to me. I look up to him every day, and I’m so glad I’ve gotten the opportunity to talk to him on two occasions. You will be missed. Thank you for inspiring so many like myself.
Brian C Staton
Cape Cod, MA
From our very first meeting, to shows across W 44th Street from each other in 1982, to your unbounded generosity with my students, I have been, and continue to be honored to call you friend! Your talent was enormous, but your joyous spirit and kind heart rose above even that! My love and condolences to Joyce and your family! I will miss you, sir!! Until we meet again, my friend!
Patricia ‘Tuck’ Tuckwiller
It was a pleasure programming for you on Dreamgirls back in ‘01. You were an amazing designer, loved by many and will be missed be so many. RIP Howell Binkley
St Augustine, Florida
He had that personality that left a lasting impression. Even if you knew him briefly or for years. Keep that smile glowing.
I had the pleasure of working with Howell during the Anything Goes National Tour - it was wonderful to have the opportunity to watch him design, he was so kind and amazingly talented. Rest In Peace Howell, I am blessed to have met you - my sincerest condolences to his family and friends.
Greenwood Lake, NY
My sincere condolences go out to all of Howell's family, friends, and to all that had the honor of working with him. Rest In Peace, Howell.
Mary Claire Simmons
Bless you all . My sincerest condolences to all of Howells family and friends he worked with.
Sending love to the family .
You were an inspiration to us all. An absolute legend.
Sending much love to your family.
Till we meet again!
Golden Valley, Minnesota
Wonderful send off to a great friend. Painting with Light is Hal's way. Flights of Angels, sweet Hal.
San Francisco, CA
Rest in peace, rise in power, and light the skies...
A Big Light Has Left Us here on Earth. Rest In Peace Mr. Binkley
Deepest sympathies in your loss. This service was beautiful.
How I loved working with Howell ! I will miss him tremendously. Love and peace to his family and loved ones...
My deepest condolences to the family and community at large, as he touched many lives
Croton on Hudson, NY
To the great Howell Binkley. Rest In Peace sir. It was an honor and joy to get to work with you. My deepest condolences to your family and countless friends around the world.
Cannon Falls, MN
I attended RJR high school with Howell and we were good friends. He was such a positive, friendly and supportive person—always. I remember skipping class to join him in the auditorium where he would play music through the system, like—Tubular Bells—and put on a light show for me. He knew, even then, what he wanted to do. That is crazy, but it's true. He was born for the job he clearly did so very well.
I have a young nephew in NYC working as producer with Dorrance Dance and when he found out I knew him, he was pretty excited. I'd made a plan, in future tense, to get back to NYC and schedule a dinner with Howell to introduce him to my nephew Chris. I'm sad that can't happen now. It would have been so satisfying to reconnect with Howell after too many years and witness him inspire yet another young artist working hard in the big city. He was always such an inspiration—full of joy and overflowing with the best slop of the cosmic soup.
He was born a good human and became a great artist. I now have nothing to do but send my faraway but all so memorable knowing of him into the place we all will eventually go. Love you, man. Fly well.
I met Howell In Sarasota Florida at The Asolo , I was a Stage Management Intern, My now late Husband Ronnie Paul Master Electrician. It was such an honor to work with him. To know him. To call him a friend. God Speed. Rest in Peace Howell...you will be sorely missed.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of his family and friends. A wonderful Soul that I was blessed to have meet. Love, Peace and Light my friend.
Howell Bagby Binkley
July 25, 1956 ~ August 14, 2020 (age 64)
It is with a heavy heart that we announce Mr. Howell Bagby Binkley, 64, of Emerald Isle, NC and New York City, passed away Friday, August 14, 2020, after an heroic 3-year battle with lung cancer. He was born in Forsyth County on July 25, 1956 to the late (Lt. Ret.) John E. Binkley, Jr. and Hattie Louise Binkley, nee Bagby.
Growing up in Winston-Salem, NC, Howell graduated from Richard J. Reynolds High School in 1974. He was the school mascot and worked at the Little Theatre of Winston-Salem. After high school, he attended East Carolina University before moving to New York City to pursue his dream of working in theatre. He was a member of Home Moravian Church and always enjoyed coming back to visit and to attend a Christmas Eve Lovefeast Service.
Howell was a Theatrical Lighting Designer for hundreds of productions. His 52 Broadway shows included: Hamilton, Jersey Boys, Come From Away, Ain't Too Proud, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and so many more. During his fascinating career, he was nominated for nine Tony awards of which he won two (Hamilton and Jersey Boys). He was a two-time recipient of the British Laurence Olivier award (Hamilton and Kiss of the Spider Woman). His lighting design of Kiss of the Spider Woman also garnered a Canadian Dora Mavor Moore award.
Howell was a two-time Henry Hewes Design award winner for his work on Hamilton and Jersey Boys. He was also a five-time Helen Hayes award recipient and earned the NAACP award for the musical, Memphis.
He received Tony nominations for his lighting design of Ain't Too Proud, Come From Away, After Midnight, the recent revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, the 2009 revival of West Side Story, In the Heights, and Kiss of the Spider Woman.
In addition to his work in the theatre, Howell was the co-founder and resident lighting designer for Parsons Dance.
His work on the recent Disney+ release of Hamilton, filmed at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, immortalizes his masterful artistry.
Howell was adored by many and will be missed by all.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Joyce Storey; beautiful daughter, Zoë King; treasured brother, (Col. Ret. U.S. Army) John Binkley and sister-in-law, Vicki, nee Haynie; as well as many Binkley and Bagby cousins.
Our heartfelt thanks to Howell's doctors, nurses, and support staff at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Onslow Memorial Hospital, NC for their dedicated and compassionate care and to all other health care workers who contributed to Howell's care during this long journey.
A graveside service will be conducted at 2:00 PM EDT Thursday, August 20, 2020, at Salem Moravian Graveyard, God's Acre, Winston-Salem, officiated by the Rev. Ginny Tobiassen and live streamed above.
Donations may be made to Parsons Dance, 229 West 42nd Street, Suite 800, NY, NY 10036, www.parsonsdance.org or a charity of your choice.