Cover photo for Richard Ashton Carrel's Obituary
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1944 Richard 2023

Richard Ashton Carrel

February 14, 1944 — May 30, 2023


Richard Ashton Carrel, 79, of Hewitt, Texas, passed away on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.

Rick was born on February 14, 1944, to Marion Jackson Carrel and Norma Leona Carrel in Steelville, Missouri. After graduating as class valedictorian of Malden High School in 1961, he made plans to study at Southeast Missouri State College. However, as life typically has it, plans change and after some college, he decided to enroll in the United States Navy.

Rick enlisted at the U.S. Navy Recruiting Branch Station in Kennett, Missouri under the Navy’s Junior College Graduate Training Program and completed his recruit training at the U.S. Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois on May 8, 1964. He transferred to the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Memphis Tennessee where he was enrolled in the Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare School. Here, he studied the use and maintenance of airborne anti-submarine equipment, sonobuoy systems, operational tactics, principles of frequency modulation and transmitter and receiver troubleshooting. He graduated at the top of his class from the Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare School.

While in the Navy, Rick flew onboard a Martin P5M Marlin seaplane. He served his country in Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, and Germany and earned a National Defense Service Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, and a Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device.

After separating from the Navy, he worked as an Electrical Engineer for a U.S. defense contractor in Germany. It was during this time that Rick met his future wife, Regina Elisabet Fanz and her young daughters Daniela and Melanie. Rick and Regina married on March 7, 1975, and moved to the United States shortly thereafter where he continued his career in the defense industry.

Rick and Regina’s daughter Heike was born in 1978 and he later adopted Daniela and Melanie.

Rick retired from L3Harris Technologies, Inc. on January 16, 2015, after a long and successful career. In retirement, Rick enjoyed walking his dogs every day in his neighborhood and visiting with all his neighbors. If a neighbor needed help, he would endeavor to do what he could, whether that meant digging a hole in the yard or cutting down a tree that needed removing. He was a proud veteran who flew the American and U.S. Navy flags in his front yard.

Rick was a genuinely kind and patient father and grandfather. As a dad, he faithfully drove his daughters to their band concerts, often speeding to make it there in time. He got out of 2 speeding tickets because of the “We’re on our way to a band concert” line while his daughter held up a flute case from the passenger seat in support of his story!   He bravely taught all his daughters how to drive a stick shift vehicle in hilly areas and survived!

He loved maple nut goodies, bowling, folk music, and having a beer (probably extra beers after driving lessons with his daughters). At 73, he got back in the saddle - literally - and rode a mule named Dusty to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, joining the ranks of the 1% of people making it down to Phantom Ranch. Even more memorable is that he and Dusty were given the privilege of bringing the mail up the Bright Angel Trail from Phantom Ranch to the south rim of the Grand Canyon!

Rick was preceded in death by his parents Marion and Norma Carrel, his brothers Vernon and Bill Carrel, and his sister Juanita Cook. Rick is survived by his wife Regina Carrel, daughters Daniela Chambless-Luedke, Melanie Carrel, and Heike Nash, his granddaughters Natalie Chambless and Samarra Carrel, his grandson Clay Chambless and sisters Betty McNeal, Mildred Varvell, Joyce Carrel, Patricia Whitson, and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held on Monday, June 5 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM at Grace Gardens Funeral Home & Crematorium located at 8220 Woodway Dr, Waco, TX 76712.

Funeral service will be held on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 9:00AM at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery located at 11463 State Highway 195, Killeen, TX 76542.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project (

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, June 5, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Grace Gardens Funeral Home

8220 Woodway Drive, Woodway, TX 76712

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Graveside Service

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Starts at 9:00 am (Central time)

Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery

11463 Texas 195, Killeen, TX 76542

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