Ralph R. Crowell

Ralph R. Crowell

 1926-2020

            Ralph R. "Eph" Crowell of Chatham, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at Cape Cod Hospital.  Eph, as he was known by everyone, was born June 3, 1926, son of the late Frederick W. Crowell, Sr. and Helen Eldridge Crowell.  He was immensely proud of his lineage, being a 12th generation Cape Codder, and being a direct descendant to John Crowell, one of the founders of Yarmouth.  He was married to Irene Cahoon Crowell on May 15, 1949, and she predeceased him on July 3, 2006.

            Eph served his country during World War II in United States Army Air Force, and in the Korean War in the United Sates Air Force as a tail gunner on a B-29 Superfortress, and achieving the rank of Sergeant.   
            He worked many years at the family business, Frederick Crowell Construction Company with his brother, Frederick Crowell, Jr.  He was not afraid to tell you that he maintained his Heavy Equipment Operators License and was still doing side jobs only a few years ago. He also managed numerous cranberry bogs on the Lower Cape and proudly grew cranberries for Ocean Spray Cranberries for 52 years.

            One of his passions was community service evidenced by the number of groups and organizations that he was a member of; The Chatham Airport Commission, Past President of the Chatham PTA, Senior Past Master of St. Martin's AF & AM, Life Member of the Cape Cod Fish and Game Association, Past President of The Nickerson Family Association, and a 23 year veteran of the Chatham Fire Department, where he retired as a Captain.  One of his proudest moments occurred one day before he passed as he was able to see his grandson, Scott Long, receive his promotion to Lieutenant, in the same Chatham Fire Department.  

            Another passion of Eph’s was the outdoors.  He loved to go hunting in Maine for moose, bear and deer, to New Jersey for pheasant and Canada goose in Maryland, as well as deer here on the Cape.  He enjoyed fishing the waters off Pompano Beach in the winters and he truly loved catching stripers, blues and fluke off of Chatham.  When he was 87 years old, he was able to catch his first blue fin tuna, a 56 inch beauty.

            Eph is survived by his children Karen Miller (partner Richard Grenon) of San Antonio, FL. Martha Schiffner (husband John) of East Harwich, Robert Crowell (partner Judith O’Neal), of South Chatham, Cindy Cronin of Harwich, and Amy Crowell (partner Joseph Nowak) of South Chatham.  He also is survived by 6 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

            A private graveside service will be held for the family at the South Chatham Cemetery, 2715 MA-28, South Chatham, MA. Friends are invited to a graveside drive by, Friday, June 5, 2020. 1:00-3:00pm. A celebration of Eph’s life is being planned for the future. In lieu of flowers a memorial donation can be made to the Chatham Fire Association, PO Box 751, Chatham, MA 02633. For online condolences, please visit www.nickersonfunerals.com.