Evan Howell, 79, a former Republican member of the House of Representatives from Illinois who served on the U.S. Court of Claims from 1947 to 1953, died Jan. 18 in a hospital in Clearwater, Fla. He had cancer.

Judge Howell was born in Marion, Ill., and earned both a bachelor's and law degree at the University of Illinois. He practiced law in Illinois before winning election to the 77th Congress in 1940.

He resigned his seat in the House to become an associate judge of the U.S. Court of Claims in 1947. He resigned six years later to become head of the Illinois Toll Road Commission and to practice law here and in Illinois.

Judge Howell served on the board of trustees of George Washington University in the 1950s and was president of the Metropolitan Police Boys' Club in the late 1960s.

He belonged to a number of Masonic organizations and to the Chevy Chase and Burning Tree country clubs.

Judge Howell had lived in the District of Columbia and Rockville before moving to Largo, Fla., in August 1979.

Survivors include his wife, the former Kathryn M. Sellers of Largo; three daughters, Marilyn Phillips of Arlington, Joella Prince of Greenwich, Conn., and Kathy Mae Green of Miami; two sons, William E., of Washington, and John E., of Chapel Hill, N.C.; a sister, Kathleen H. Sanford of Champaign, Ill., and seven grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Morton F. Plant Cancer Foundation in Clearwater, Fla.