George Dowell
George Dowell

Obituary of George Dowell

Putnam-George Handy Dowell, “Grandpa Gidge,”91, passed away Thursday, June 21 at Westview Healthcare Center, Dayville, CT with his daughter Janet and son-in-law John at his side.  Born on November 11, 1926 in the Fairlawn section of Pawtucket, RI to parents William A. and Clara(Piggott) Dowell, he attended school in Fairlawn, RI until 1933 when the family moved to Franconia, NH.In Franconia he completed his high school education at Dow Academy.

George enlisted in the United States Marine Corpsin 1943, serving in the Pacific Theater during WWII, and notably under General Holland M. (Howling Mad) Smith in the 12th Marines Artillery “A” Battery as a communications technician (Field Telephone Man) during the “Marianas Operation” (2nd taking of Guam).  For his service he was awarded theAmerican Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Star, the World War II Victory Medal, the USMC Marksman Rifle Badgealong with Signal Corps and FMF PAC patches.  The 12th Marines were awarded a Navy Unit Commendation for their performance under fireduring that Guam campaign.  He was honorably discharged in 1946 as a Corporal.

On June 28, 1947 George married his one true love, Beatrice M. Whitehead.  They moved to Putnam, CT. George was a licensed contractor plumber and steamfitter.  Over the years he worked for the E.H. Keach Company, Rawley Plumbing Supply, D. Blumenthal, Inc., Dinsdale Plumbing & Heating, Inc. and lastly at the John N. Dempsey Center in Putnam where he worked for 21 years, retiring in 1989.Always interested in maintaining up-to-date knowledge of his trades, he pursued many hours of continuing education.  He also taught Plumbing and Heating at Harvard H. Ellis RVT School from 1990 -1993.

He was predeceased by his parents, his wife Beatrice, and his sister Dorothea Dowell.  He is survived by daughter Linda E. Dowell of Gardiner, ME, daughter Janet (John) Richmond of Woodstock, CT, son Michael (Sandra) Dowell of Magnolia, TX; four granddaughters, Jillian (William) Richmond Petrides, Julia Richmond (Brian Sullivan), Joy Richmond (Jonathan Bergstrom) and Erin Dowell(Thomas John Liddle); as well as great-grandson Benjamin Petrides, great-granddaughter Clara Petrides, brother William Dowell, nieces Geraldine (Frank) Faber and Patricia (Richard) Merrill, great nieces, great nephew, and great-great nieces and nephew.

Dad was a gentle, hard-working man who was devoted to his wife, Bea and their three children.  He loved reading – especially the Bible, historical literature, and inspirational works.  He also loved taking the family for picnics to Roseland Lake, or to Rhode Island or Maine beaches, where he would dive in for a swim no matter what the temperature of the chilly Atlantic waters. He was a very positive, upbeat person who generally saw the best in people, always advising them to - “Keep smiling!”

The family wishes to acknowledge and thank with deepest gratitude Dr. Gerald Sullivan and all the wonderful staff at Westview Healthcare Center.  In lieu of flowers the family requests that those so inclined donate to the Wounded Warrier Project,National Processing Center PO Box 758540, Topeka, KS 66675, the Blessed Backpack Brigade (a local outreach to homeless veterans) P.O. Box 1232, Webster MA 01570, or the Congregational Church of Putnam, P. O. Box 463 Putnam, CT 06260.

Calling hours will be Saturday July 21, 2018 from 9 to 11 AM at Smith and Walker Funeral Home, 148 Grove Street, Putnam, CT with a Funeral Service at 11 AM at the Funeral Home Burial will be at a later date. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Smith and Walker Funeral Home. Share a memory at

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