Carolers bring Christmas joy to dying principal

STILLWATER, MN (KARE) On the coldest day of the year loved ones sent warm wishes to a Stillwater, Minnesota educator battling cancer.

Bill Howlett, 50, of Shoreview is an assistant principal at Stillwater Area High School. Howlett was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in August 2014.

“I found myself a few weeks ago not knowing who or what the journey is going to bring,” Howlett said.

Howlett has been on leave this school year. His health worsened about four weeks ago. Since then, he’s been staying at the hospice home St. Therese at St. Odilia in Shoreview.

“A month ago they told us he had hours, and then he had days and now here we are,” said Renee Howlett, Bill’s older sister. “Eventually this will be his last Christmas.”

Sunday afternoon about 75 people met outside Howlett’s hospice home. They sung Christmas carols while holding signs that read, “We love you Bill” and “We miss you Mr. Howlett.” The group started off by singing “Jingle Bells.” During the carol, family members took Howlett to the window to watch.

“Oh my gosh. Right to my heart,” Howlett said. “My family, friends were amazing. Yeah, yeah I was taken aback.”

Enhelder added, “I think this made his whole day. We’re going to miss him.”

Howlett’s family was celebrating Christmas when the carolers stopped by. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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