We learned of the death of Mr. James Powell just before this edition was scheduled to go to press, and although there’s not enough time to polish our words into an appropriate tribute to him and what he has meant to our community, we feel obligated to give it our best effort.
Many people knew Mr. Powell through his work as an electrician. He was a hard working man who continued working throughout his life. In his 80s he still seemed to have more energy than many people half his age. He also had a reputation for doing quality work and doing exactly what he said he was going to do.
Mr. Powell learned those skills serving in the U.S. Navy after joining in 1955 at age 17. He began his service in the Mediterranean and later volunteered to serve on a gunboat in the Vietnam war.
Powell was recognized for his work keeping his boat operable during times when its guns were badly needed.
“I remember Vietnam being beautiful beaches, but then you could get killed so easily,” Mr. Powell told us in a 2015 interview. “When you leave there, you almost have no fear about death anymore. Death was like waking up in the morning. It became normal.”
After the war was over, Powell continued to serve in the Navy until he was 36.
He then returned home where he continued to work hard in our community until the day he died. In addition to being a good businessman, he was simply a nice guy who could get along with just about anyone.
Thank you for your service Mr. Powell. We are going to miss you.