Ralph Echols Obituary

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In Memory of

Ralph Gordon Echols

September 12, 1929 - July 18, 2014
Obituary

Ralph Gordon Echols died on Friday, July 18th at Lynchburg General Hospital. He was the husband of Ann Rowe Echols. Born September 12, 1929, in Bluefield, West Virginia, Mr. Echols was the son of Ralph and Rowena Carper Echols. He received his Bachelors and Master of Architecture degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and edited the school yearbook. Later he received a Masters of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where he studied under Josep Luis Serte, and then a Master of City Planning from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at...
Ralph Gordon Echols died on Friday, July 18th at Lynchburg General Hospital. He was the husband of Ann Rowe Echols.

Born September 12, 1929, in Bluefield, West Virginia, Mr. Echols was the son of Ralph and Rowena Carper Echols. He received his Bachelors and Master of Architecture degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and edited the school yearbook. Later he received a Masters of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where he studied under Josep Luis Serte, and then a Master of City Planning from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania.

After graduating from Virginia Tech, he served in the U.S. Air Force where he rose to the rank of Captain. While in the Air Force, he did planning and architecture work and later did early civil defense planning for the Department of Defense. After graduating from Harvard, he worked with Walter Gropius at Architects Collaborative. As he finished his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he participated in the excavation of and recording of inscriptions at the Temple of Inscriptions (Temple Seven), at Tikal, Guatemala.

He started his teaching career at Virginia Tech where he taught Architecture and Urban Planning. He later became Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture at Miami University in Ohio, and Professor and Dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Texas A&M University. While at Texas A&M University he founded the Center for Historic Resources. He retired from Texas A&M University in 1998. He was widely published. Among his books was the book Early Texas Architecture, for which he received an award from the San Antonio Preservation Association.

Mr. Echols lived in Lynchburg, Va. since his retirement. While in Lynchburg, he served as a Planning Commissioner, and as a board member of the Lynchburg Historical Foundation, the Southern Memorial Association, and the Valley Conservation Council.

His wife of 33 years, Agnes Patton Echols, and his daughter Annette Lee Palmer preceded Mr. Echols in death. He is survived by: his wife Ann Rowe Echols, son Ralph James Echols and his wife, Elaine, son Gordon Alexander Echols and wife Chriss Pryately, son Stuart Echols and wife Anne, son-in-law Thomas Palmer, and four grandchildren John, Pete, Emily, and Karina Echols.

A mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Monday, July 21, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church by Monsignor J. Kenneth Rush. Burial will be at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Raphine, Va.

Visitation will be held today, Sunday, July 20, 2014, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the home of Sally and Bob Leslie, 3844 Peakland Place, Lynchburg, Va.

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