Richard “Dick” Eldon Dovell

Richard “Dick” Eldon Dovell, 80, of Front Royal, died February 9, 2018.

He is survived by his wife, Lorraine Kephart Dovell and their daughter, Diane Lorraine Dovell. He leaves behind sisters-in-law, Barbara K. Trettel, Linda K. Jordan, and her husband King Jordan; nephews, James Trettel, King Jordan; and niece Heidi Jordan. He also leaves behind his aunt, Esther Dovell, and uncle, Julian Huffer, as well as many cousins. He will also be missed by his best buddy, Christine Foster and her sister Ruth Foster.

Dick was predeceased by his parents, G. Eldon and Willa Huffer Dovell, and his sister, Ann Dovell Hensell.

The visitation for friends and family will be held at Maddox Funeral Home on Thursday, February 15, 2018 from12:00 to 2:00 p.m. followed by a service at 2:00 p.m. The service will be conducted by Tom Rhyne, former geology student and Jim Bunce, a good neighbor for many years. A memorial service will be held in April at the Reliance Cemetery for the placement of his stone marker in the Dovell plot.

In Dick’s own words, his life in brief:

Dick was born in Leesburg, Virginia. His early years were spent in Takoma Park, Maryland and at the age eight, his family moved to Strasburg, Virginia. Two years later they moved to the family farm at Reliance, Virginia.

Growing up in Warren County, he was educated in the public school system, including two years in a two-room school that housed all seven elementary grades. He graduated from Warren County High School in 1955, after serving two years as president of the Front Royal Chapter of the Future Farmers of America, and was awarded a full academic scholarship to the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in General Agriculture in 1959.

Warren County High School had been closed in 1958, due to “Massive Resistance,” the reluctance of Warren County to integrate its high school. When the school was forced by the federal court to reopen in 1959, Dick accepted a science teaching position in the newly integrated facility.

The following summer, he was employed by radio station WFTR, where he spent the next four years. He was the morning disc jockey and did news, weather and play-by-play sports, covering football, basketball and baseball.

Dick left radio to manage the family farm when his father suffered a heart attack. After his father’s recovery, he returned to teaching, accepting a math position at John S. Mosby Academy. a Freedom of Choice school that resulted from the forced integration of Warren County High School. A year later, he returned to the public schools to teach earth science, a positon he held for a number of years.

In 1970, he received a grant in the National Science Academic Year Institute at Pennsylvania State University and earned a Master of Education degree with a major in Earth Science. He returned to Warren County and a year later accepted a faculty position at Lord Fairfax Community College. Dick taught geology and agriculture courses at Lord Fairfax for 33 years.

A long-time believer in education, with degrees from Maryland and Penn State, Dick also took course work from the University of Virginia, Washington and Lee University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and New York State College. He was a life-long farmer with experience in poultry, dairy and beef cattle. He was also interested in sports and in writing, was a football and baseball coach at Warren County High School and wrote for the Northern Virginia Daily, Winchester Evening star and Warren Sentinel.

After suffering a stroke, Dick recovered to continue his teaching career. When the State of Virginia proposed an early retirement for employees he was able to participate. He was named Professor Emeritus at Lord Fairfax Community College. He fully retired from teaching in 2004.

Due to his love of cats, memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of Warren County, 1245 Progress Drive, Front Royal, Virginia for the “care of cats and kittens”.

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