Robert Dowell, age 78, from Edmond, Oklahoma passed from this life December 28, 2014, after a lengthy battle with dementia. He was a man of God and has gone to claim his beautiful reward to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Robert was born May 15, 1936, in Byron, Oklahoma to his parents Charles Henry and Cuba Nevada (Ball) Dowell. He was the youngest of ten children. He grew up on a farm in Byron, Oklahoma and graduated salutatorian from Driftwood High School in 1955. Following high school, he enlisted in the United States Army serving between the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was on active duty for six months followed by six years in the reserves. He attained the rank of staff sergeant. After his active duty was completed, he returned to pursuing his education and earned both his bachelor of science and master’s degrees from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. He married Wanetta Maltbie June 6, 1958. They moved to Gem, Kansas where Robert started his teaching career in 1960. In 1964, they moved to Goodwell, Oklahoma to continue his career as an educator. In 1965, they moved to Hennessey, Oklahoma where Robert taught in the Hennessey Public School System for 35 years. He taught industrial arts, drafting, and carpentry. He also served as middle school principal for six years.
During Robert’s early life, he worked on a farm and was an an avid trapper. He earned money selling pelts. He played baseball throughout his youth. Some of his hobbies included woodworking and coin collecting. His grandchildren remember working on many woodworking projects with him. He served as a city judge briefly while living in Gem, Kansas. Robert served as a teacher, deacon, and elder in the churches where he worshiped. Family and church were central to Robert’s life.
Robert and Wanetta were blessed with the birth of three children: Kim, Kathy, and Matt. Robert is survived by his wife, Wanetta, of 56 years; two daughters and a son, Randy and Kim Wise of Evergreen, Colorado, Todd and Kathy Wright of Edmond, Oklahoma, and Matt and Christy Dowell of Edmond, Oklahoma; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren who lovingly call him “Papa;” sister Julia Messner of Leoti, Kansas; and brother Murl Dowell of Hennessey, Oklahoma.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents and seven of his siblings.
A memorial service will be held on January 2, 2015, at Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond, Oklahoma, at 1 pm under the direction of Matthews Funeral Home. Family visitation will be January 1, 2015, 4-6 pm, at Matthews Funeral Home. Memorial donations can be made in Robert’s name to Lariat Creek Christian Camp in Geary, Oklahoma (www.lariatcreek.org).
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