A Conroe Treasure, Lyn Hawthorne-Howard

Eight things you might not know about this iconic Conroe businesswoman and socialite

Meeting with Lyn Noble Hawthorne-Howard is a study in style and grace. There's a lot to admire about this groundbreaking 80-year-old businesswoman whose motto is "God's not finished with me yet."

Below are some fascinating backstories about this twice-widowed mover and shaker, married to Carl Howard since 2010.

Kilgore Rangerette

Lyn was a Neiman Marcus and Jantzen bathing suit model who opened up the Dallas Apparel Market in 1964 in a white mink bikini. While attending Kilgore College, Lyn performed with the first-ever collegiate drill team, the Kilgore Rangerettes, majoring in education and sociology. "You might think the expression 'Beauty knows no pain' comes from beauty pageants. No, it was coined by the Rangerettes," says Lyn. 

Sociologist and Stewardess

Imagine balancing two early careers, one in education and the other as a stewardess. 

While a part-time stewardess for American Airlines, Lyn encountered a July 4th crash during a flight from Washington DC to Love Field. The windshield shattered and knocked out the radar in a brand-new 707. "The airline should have put me on the very next flight, like getting back in the saddle after being thrown from a horse. Instead, I was given a week off, and still, to this day, I get white knuckles during any turbulence," says Lyn. After she left flying, she became a sociologist for Gladewater ISD. 

First Woman Ever to Own a Toyota Dealership

Lyn's first husband, orthodontist Dr. Terry Noble was tragically killed, leaving Lyn to support her three daughters, ages four, five, and seven years old. She founded LDS, a competitor of Southwestern Bell, and was instrumental in breaking up the monopoly, later selling to Metromedia. 

Lyn invested in the Toyota dealership in Conroe in 1972. Unaware of Japanese culture, being accepted as the first-ever woman-owned Toyota dealership was a battle. With Lyn's persistence and a bit of friendly intervention by Senator Lloyd Bentsen, Noble Toyota of Conroe was founded. 

Honorary Admiral of the Texas Navy

In 1983, Governor Mark White slated Lyn for the Yellow Rose of Texas Award. Due to the spelling of her name—Lyn, not Lynn—she was added to the list for the Admiralty of the Texas Navy instead. And yes, she was commissioned by the Governor as an Admiral, an honorary designation.


Lyn loved auctions, and after selling her car dealership, she kept the land and established Classic Consignment and Auction in 2005. She became a Texas state-licensed auctioneer and enjoys assisting nonprofits at events, including Young Texas Artists Music Competition and the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance.

Beauty Queen

After competing in pageants as a young woman and winning crowns in Louisiana, where her family lived, Lyn reentered the arena with the approval of her grandchildren. She was named Mrs. Louisiana United America Elite 2012 and Mrs. United America Elite after that. 

Vatican Art Collector

Lyn, a Methodist, owns the largest collection of Vatican mosaics in the United States, falling in love with the centuries-old technique after studying in Italy. At first glance, the mosaics appear as paintings and are brought to life at the Vatican Mosaic Studio, located down the hall from the Pope's private residence. Lyn's favorites depict religious figures and scenery, and her interest has gained her direct access to the Vatican.

Isaac Conroe House

Carl and Lyn Howard purchased the 1885 City of Conroe founder Isaac Conroe's home on Avenue A, finished renovations, and hosted the inaugural Founder's Day event in 2018. Later that year, they sold the house to the City of Conroe. 

And More!

Lyn, a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas with a 50+ Year pin, is a generous philanthropist encouraging others to follow suit. She sits on numerous boards, once owned a local newspaper in Conroe, and is a licensed Realtor. Her adventures could fill a book!

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