|Posted on line 11 May 2016; Published in The Enterprise, 13 May 2016|
Thomas Edison Powell, 100
Thomas Edison Powell, age 100, passed away peacefully at home on May 9, 2016. Born on April 23, 1916, the son of Lillie May (Ireland) and Thomas Everett Powell. Thomas was born in the Harmony/Valentine area of Nebraska. He grew up in various locations: Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; and Elyria, Ohio, due to his stepfather’s work in the construction equipment business. Eventually, they moved back to Blair, Nebraska where he graduated from Blair High School.
After graduation, he worked briefly for the local power company reading meters. He later gained a position with the U.S. Government Printing Office in Washington, DC in the apprentice pressman program. His training was interrupted during World War II. After the war’s end, he returned to complete his training and went on to become a Head Pressman in the Security Section and retired after 36 years with the Government Printing Office.
During World War II, Thomas served in the U.S. Navy from July 5, 1943, to November 8, 1945. He was trained and served as a Navy SeaBee, 115th Battalion. He saw service in New Guinea and the Philippines building naval bases. He was discharged from the Navy as a Machinists Mate Third Class. Upon his retirement, he and his wife, Inabelle, moved to Milford, NH to be closer to their daughter and her family. Inabelle passed in 1993 and Thomas was brought into his daughter Mary’s home to live with her until his passing.
Thomas had a curious and ingenious mind. He loved to tinker. He enjoyed working on his Indian motorcycle, his cars and vans. He also enjoyed television repair. He and his family travelled the country and made many return trips home to Nebraska. Thomas was an enthusiastic photographer, genealogical researcher, gardener and he loved computers, and kept up with all the new technology. Even at the age of 100, he was using email, tablets and the latest laptops. He was a loyal fan of many years of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.
Thomas is predeceased by his wife of 54 years, Inabelle (Stricklett) Powell. He is survived by a son, Thomas Edward Powell, and his wife, Burma, of Clemmons, NC; a daughter, Mary Virginia Dickson, and her husband, Frederick Dickson, of Milford, NH; five grandchildren: Thomas O’Connor, Michael Thomas Powell, Peter Lindsay Parenti of Milford, NH, David Alan Parenti and his wife, Jessica, of Westborough, MA, Sean Thomas Parenti and his wife, Neala, of Boston, MA; and six great-grandchildren: Grace, Julianna, Samuel, Emilia, Cormac and Mary Parenti.
A graveside service with military honors will be held on May 13, 2016 at 10:00 at the Blair Cemetery in Blair, NE. Donations may be made to the Blair Congregational Church or to any charity in Thomas’ name.
Smith & Heald Funeral Home in Milford, NH and Campbell Aman Funeral Home are in charge of arrangements.
~~~ Obituary courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska.~~~