James 'Mike' Powell

Thursday, August 27, 2009
James 'Mike' Powell

Funeral services for Mr. James "Mike" Powell, 88, of Sutherland, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Sutherland. Rev. Tim Hogan will officiate the service.

There will be a public gathering with the family present from 7:30-9 p.m. Thursday at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sutherland.

Interment will take place in Calvary Cemetery in Sutherland.

A lunch and time of fellowship will be held following the graveside services at the Legion Hall in Sutherland.

Mr. Powell passed away Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009, at home in Sutherland.

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 Eighth Air Force kept pursuit and fighter planes aloft as cover for U.S. bombers. He was later transferred to the Ninth 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 five to six 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.

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 and husband, Bruce Matthew of Alta, Ted Powell of Urbandale, Ellen Grant and husband, Dennis of Sutherland, Jill Powell and husband, Michael Lumpkin of Jamul, Calif., and Virgil Powell and wife, Angela of Sutherland; 14 grandchildren; eight step-grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and his two sisters: Frances Florine of Sutherland and Margaret Gale of Portland, Ore.

Warner Funeral Home of Sutherland is in charge of arrangements.