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Jefferson Co. honors Stowell

February 28, 2009|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Special to The Herald-Mail

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- In a moment of fond remembrances, the widow and son of Walton D. "Kip" Stowell listened Thursday morning as the Jefferson County Commission read a resolution referring to the Harpers Ferry, W.Va., architect, volunteer and public servant as a "guiding light."

Stowell died of congestive heart failure Jan. 20 at his home at 729 Washington St. He was 72.

Stowell's wife, Mary Evalina "Nena" Stowell, and the couple's only son, Walton D. Stowell II, were invited to hear the resolution read at the commission's weekly meeting.

Stowell was "addicted to public life. It was a driving force to him. He was consumed by it," Walton Stowell told the commission. "Thank you for honoring my father. He would be very proud."

"He was a close friend to all of us," Commission President Dale Manuel said.

Stowell moved to Harpers Ferry in 1970 to take a job at the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park's Design Center. His duties included designing visitors centers at national parks around the country.

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Among his works was the visitors center at the Washington Monument.

Stowell "earned a reputation locally, statewide and even nationally for his architectural designs and knowledge of historic preservation," the resolution said.

Stowell served on the Harpers Ferry Town Council for 18 years and was the town's mayor for six years.

He was a member of many local and state historic preservation groups and worked on many local building projects at no cost.

Stowell grew up in Worcester, Mass., and earned his architectural degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

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