Dont Flutter By

Block Number: 159


Joanne Howle Realty became a part of the McDowell Quilt Trail on Friday morning, April 11, 2014 with the addition of Block #159 titled “Don’t Flutter By”. The block was mounted on the front wall of the business and pays tribute to Joanne Howle, who founded the realty company more than 36 years ago.

In 1960 Joanne and her husband Bill moved to McDowell County from Rock Hill, South Carolina in order that Bill could take a job with Rexall Drug Company. With the couple’s move another piece of McDowell County history was evolved.

In 1962 Bill opened his own company, Marion Pharmacy. The family owned business steadily grew and now has two locations. It has remained Marion’s leading pharmacy for over 50 years, well known for its excellent customer service and free in town delivery. In addition to medications they carry a wide range of health and beauty aids and equipment and have been voted “Best Pharmacy in McDowell County” for several years.

During the 1970’s Joanne attended McDowell Tech and obtained her real estate license, an unusual occupation for females during the time period. When she applied for a job with a local real estate office the male interviewer asked her a question which rather suggested that the field of work may not be appropriate for a woman. It was then that Joanne decided to open her own company and was a true pioneer of women in the real estate business.

In 1978 Joanne Howle Realty opened its office in the lower level of the Marion Pharmacy with the slogan “Don’t flutter by, give us a try”. A fire engine red and black butterfly became a well recognized symbol promoting the fast growing company. Customers received popular butterfly-shaped key chains and fly swatters as trinkets of appreciation and as promotion for their business. Joanne’s competitive attitude and the addition of carefully chosen industrious agents to the staff soon surpassed sales of both local real estate offices and national franchises in McDowell County.

Through the 1980’s and 90’s Joanne not only ran the business but served in various community positions including the United Way, Chamber of Commerce and both President and Vice President of the Board of Realtors. Joanne Howle Realty has received the McDowell News “Best Of Award” each year since its beginning, never having lost as overall winner.

In 1996 Steve Jones purchased the business as sole owner and Broker in Charge, retaining the renown and valued name of Joanne Howle Realty and the butterfly symbol. In 1998 the business relocated to their present address at 301 North Main Street and the small sign from the original pharmacy office of 1978 now adorns the side of the building. Joanne still has her own desk in the office and continues her service as Realtor.

Steve has extensive experience, knowledge and judgment in the real estate business and as a native of McDowell County is familiar with the possibilities available throughout the area. The company has fourteen professional agents with a combined experience of over 100 years that has maintained their leading position as top rated agent in the McDowell County real estate market. They are committed to working closely in cooperation with their customers and provide satisfactory solutions to their needs and desires. His slogan is “Steve Jones Sells Homes”.

Steve proudly dedicates the quilt block in honor of Joanne and pays a high compliment to her with this statement: “Joanne’s steady leadership and mentorship has formed the foundation for the steady growth of Joanne Howle Realty as we know it today - - one of the largest and most successful firms in McDowell County.”

The 4 by 4 foot block “Don’t Flutter By”, installed on the square by volunteers Jack Raker and Mike Lucas, is a single large butterfly displaying a combination of multiple brilliant colors. The block is easily viewed entering the downtown area from the north and brightens up the intersection of Main and Logan Streets. Chairwoman Jill Lucas presented the Certificate of Authenticity to Joanne and Steve with agents Wayne Wicker, Diane McKinney and Teresa Sigman who also attended the commemoration.

To tell a story by hosting or gifting a McDowell Quilt block, contact Mike Lucas at 828-443-6476 to discuss a traditional pattern or personalize one of your own. In addition an outbuilding or structure may be eligible for the Rural Heritage Trail available through a grant from the McDowell County Quilt Trail. Smaller blocks are also offered for interior mounting.

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