He was born Sept. 11, 1923, in Fontanet, Ind., to Ralph Dowell and Justine (Ilas) Dowell.
He retired from GTE in 1985 after 32 years of service.
Ralph is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Ronald and Sherry Dowell, Carbon; daughter and son-in-law Cheryl and Patrick Voll, Seelyville; grandchildren Jennifer Wallen and her husband Henry, Brazil, and Rawley Dowell and his wife Tabitha, Carbon; great-grandchildren Drue, Gavin, Delani and Rori; brother Glen Dowell and his wife Barbara, Brazil, and sister Betty Easton, Terre Haute.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Helen (Stroot) Dowell, whom he married June 26, 1948, and passed away in 2006, brother Kenneth Dowell, and sister Virginia Lane.
He was a member of St. Benedict Catholic Church and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Pacific Fleet, earning three Bronze Stars and was near the famous flag raising on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima.
He graduated from the Industrial Training Institute in Chicago in 1949, earning a diploma in Practical and Industrial Electricity.
He enjoyed fishing, gardening, and many outdoor activities along with visiting with friends and family.
Visitation will be Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010, from 4-8 p.m., at Callahan-DeBaun Funeral Home, 2425 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute, with a rosary service at 7:30 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010, at 12:05 p.m., in St. Benedict Catholic Church, with Father Ed Goldbach officiating.
Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.
If friends so desire, memorial contributions may be made to St. Benedict Catholic Church, 111 S. 9th St., Terre Haute, Ind., 47807.
Online condolences may be left at www.callahanfuneralhome.com.