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Friday, May 6, 2016

James Michael (Mike) Powell

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mike Powell
James Michael (Mike) Powell, of Sutherland, died on Aug. 22, 2009. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 28 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Father Tim Hogan will officiate. Military Services will be provided by the Sutherland American Legion Post #152. The family would like to invite everyone in attendance at the service to join them for a time of lunch and fellowship at the Legion Hall in Sutherland following the graveside services.

James Michael (Mike) Powell was born on Jan. 24, 1921 to Theodore Dot and Julia (Sweeney) Powell at their home in Sutherland. Mike was baptized into the Catholic faith at Sacred Heart Church, where he was a life long member. He attended Sutherland Community Schools, participating in sports, drama, band and vocal music, graduating in 1938 at age 17. After graduation, he worked for various businesses and local farms. He made the local papers when his clothing caught in the power take off on farm machinery, which declothed him but spared his life.

As the war in Europe escalated he registered for military service and was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was schooled in airplane mechanics, specifically for fighter planes in Kansas City and various locations on the East coast.

Pearl Branstetter joined him in Kansas City and they were married on Sept. 6, 1942. Mike's unit shipped out to England aboard the Queen Mary, where the 8th Air Force kept pursuit and fighter planes aloft as cover for U.S. bombers. He was later transferred to the 9th Air Force in France, where his unit provided ground support to the troops for the Battle of the Bulge. They worked from dawn to dusk, putting up 4 planes every 10 minutes for a period of 5 to 6 weeks. After the war, he returned to the United States aboard the Queen Elizabeth.

After his discharge, he worked in Detroit for a year before he and Pearl returned to their hometown, where he joined his brother, John Powell to establish Powell Brothers Welding, where he worked for 19 years. In 1965, he started his own business, Mike's Pump Sales and Service. He continued to sell and service rural water systems until retiring at age 63. He and Pearl spent the next 25 winters in Arizona. The Powell's were members of the Good Sam Camper Club for many years.

While raising a family of six children, he was a member of the American Legion, serving his turn as commander and a member of the Funeral Honor Guard. He was a Boy Scout leader and served on the Sutherland City Council for 16 years. He served his church parish in various capacities over the years.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Pearl, and his six children: Patricia Nelson of Alta, Elizabeth Einerwold (Bruce Matthew) of Alta, Ted Powell of Urbandale, Ellen Grant (Dennis) of Sutherland, Jill Powell (Michael Lumpkin) of Jamul, Calif., and Virgil Powell (Angela) of Sutherland; 14 grandchildren; eight step grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; his two sisters: Frances Florine of Sutherland and Margaret Gale of Portland, Oregon and many in-laws, nieces and nephews.