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Air Force Colonel, Newport Native, Dies at 66

Col. Richard S. Brownell passed away Nov. 30.

Richard S. Brownell, a Newport native, the son of the late Dr. Henry W. Brownell and Sally B. (Jones) Brownell, passed Saturday evening with his cherished wife by his side.

He was the husband of Doreen R. (Benway) Brownell, and father to their four children, spouses, and “Papa” to their twelve grandchildren, including: Seth & Kara (Harpool) Brownell and their children Wyatt, Annalee, Penelope, and Emelia; Brooke (Brownell) & Rich Loechinger, and their children Grace, Richard, Evangeline, and James; Benjamin & Lynne (Silveira) Brownell, and their children Jillian, Benjamin, Jonathan, and Lauren; and Matthew & Hanh (Huynh) Brownell. 

He was a native of Newport, and a Rogers High School graduate, class of 1965. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1969, the same year he joined the United States Air Force and married his wife. During his military career he obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Western New England College. He served 26 years in the United States Air Force, retiring as a Colonel in 1995, and continued to work in contracting for Raytheon another 14 years. His work and travels took him across the United States and back, where he was able to retire, settling his family in Portsmouth. 

He served diligently in the military, and faithfully as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also served as an ambassador of the LDS faith in the Aquidneck Island Clergy Association, which group works to bring the different faiths of our community together. He was a member of the Newport Genealogical Society and Sons of the American Revolution.

Calling Hours will be at Hambly Funeral Home, 30 Red Cross Ave., Newport, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 5-8 p.m. There will also be a Memorial Service at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 177 Miantonomi Ave., Middletown, on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to: Wounded Warrior Project, Smile Train or LDS Philanthropies. Read the full obituary and add to Mr. Brownell's memorial wall on the Memorial Funeral Home's website.

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