Richard Alden “Duke” Dewell, age 97, died Sunday morning, August 24, 2014, at the Meade District Hospital, Meade, Kansas.
He was born April 25, 1917, at Fowler, Kansas, the son of Ralph W. and Dorothy (Schellhamer) Dewell. As a young boy he attended the Fowler school system, graduating from Fowler High School in 1936. He later attended trade school in California receiving his training in diesel mechanics. In 1942, he joined the United States Army serving during World War II in the European Theater of Operation in the 858th Ordnance Heavy Automotive Maintenance Company as a mechanic. After his discharge he returned to Fowler.
In 1946 he, along with Bill Dewell and Joe Finkeldei formed DFD Motors in Fowler. Joe later returned to farming and Duke and Bill renamed the business Dewell Motor Company where he was a mechanic and shop supervisor for the business until his retirement at the age of 73.
He was a member of the Kiwanis International, American Legion, a founder and troop leader for Boy Scouts of America, and served as the mayor of Fowler in late 1950’s. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, Jeeps, and was instrumental in the annual coon feed in Fowler.
On August 4, 1941, he married Melva Heinz at Fowler. She survives.
Other survivors include:
His children, Larry Dewell of Fowler, Kansas
Dan Dewell of Fowler, Kansas
Jo Cox and husband Jeff of Hugoton, Kansas
Dave Dewell and wife Janice of Tulsa, Oklahoma
Three brothers, Ray Dewell of Winfield, Kansas
Halbert Dewell of Branson, Missouri
Jim Dewell of Ponder, Texas
Three sisters, Marcy Hoffman of Dodge City, Kansas
Mudge Eaton of Overland Park, Kansas
Patty Fisher of Bucklin, Kansas
Seven grandchildren, Angie, Richie and Michelle, Jeremy, Aubrey, Layna, Lucas, and Elizabeth
Two great-grandchildren, Makenzie and Brayton Dewell
He is preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Bill and Lyman Dewell; a sister, Mary Dewell; and a daughter-in-law, Sherry Dewell.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 29, 2014, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Fowler, with Father Ted Skalsky presiding. Friends may call from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Fidler-Orme-Bachman Mortuary, Meade. Interment will follow in the Fowler Cemetery, Fowler with military honors.
The family would welcome memorials to the Fowler Community Alliance or the Fowler Recreation Commission in care of the funeral home.