BEDFORD - Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Richard L. Ravenelle of 27 Buttonwood Road, Bedford, died Oct. 30, 2013, after a long illness.
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Born Sept. 5, 1929, in Woonsocket, R.I., he was the son of Antonio and Germaine (Levesque) Ravenelle. He was a Bedford resident since 1975. He was a 1947 graduate of Woonsocket High School. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama in 1953, a M.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1968. He entered the Air Force in May 1953 and served tours of duty in the Far East as an F-86 pilot with the 18th Fighter Wing. Subsequent flying assignments were to the 457th, 470th and 429th Fighter Squadrons. During these Cold War years of the 1950s he participated in numerous operational deployments to Okinawa, Formosa, Turkey, Greece, Spain and Germany. He then served as a research pilot for the joint Air Force/NASA F-100F Zero-G flight program at the Air Force Aerospace Medical Division operating out of Kelly AFB, Texas and Edwards AFB, California. He subsequently served a flying tour in Vietnam. Following this tour, he was research and development director at the Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories, chief of Cockpit Development Branch and later chief of the Flight Control Division of the Flight Dynamics Laboratory. In 1973 he received the Air Force Systems Command Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for his leadership in advanced fighter cockpit developments. After a short tour at Hanscom AFB, in Massachusetts, he retired from the Air Force in July 1976, and his family settled in Bedford. He continued to work as consultant and senior systems engineer for several companies on contract to the Air Force Electronic Systems Division until April 1992.
Mr. Ravenelle was a lifetime member of the New Hampshire Chapter of the Retired Officers Association and was a member of the American Legion. He was a communicant of St. Elizabeth Seton Church, Bedford.
Family members include a daughter, Dr. Anita R. Ritenour of Bedford; a son, Richard L. Ravenelle Jr., also of Bedford; a sister, Marilyn Munro of Conway, S.C.; four grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews and cousins, mostly residing in Rhode Island. His wife of 37 years, Anita Routhier Ravenelle, predeceased him in October 2000.
services: Calling hours are Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm St., corner of North Street, Manchester. A funeral service will be celebrated Monday at 11 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, 190 Meetinghouse Road, Bedford. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery, 446 Donald St., Bedford. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to N.H. Catholic Charities, P.O. Box 686, Manchester, 03105-0686. To leave a message of condolence, visit www.lambertfuneralhome.com.
Lambert Funeral Home
1799 Elm Street Manchester, NH 03104
Published in Union Leader on Nov. 1, 2013