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Donna Powell

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Donna Powell Obituary
Donna Jean (Hackley) Powell, M.D.

Dr. Donna Jean (Hackley) Powell, was born in Kalamazoo on March 30, 1926.  She died of complications due to Alzheimer's on June 27, 2013 at the age of 87 at North Pointe Woods Assisted Living.  She was surrounded by her family. Her parents were Thelma and Arthur B. Hackley. She had two brothers, Charles and Arthur.

Dr. Donna, as many affectionately called her, was born in Kalamazoo and graduated from Western Michigan University in 1947, becoming the first African-American to be inducted into the Academy Sorority.  She graduated from Howard University College of Medicine in 1951.

Dr. Donna was an early global health-care advocate. During her senior year in medical school, as part of the newly founded American Medical Student Association (AMSA), she toured Western Europe and various countries behind the "Iron Curtain" sharing best medical practices. In the mid-60s, along with other volunteers, she helped gather used medical equipment from all over the United States and traveled to British Honduras (now the independent nation, Belize) and supervised their delivery to hospitals and clinics.

She interned at Freedman's Hospital in Washington, D.C. and completed her residency in the specialty of internal medicine at Veteran's Administration Hospital, Tuskegee, Alabama.

She and her husband, Carl Powell, M.D., moved to Battle Creek in 1958 where she rose to be Chief of Medical Services at the Veteran Administration Hospital. For many years, she was the only female physician on the hospital's medical staff.

Dr. Donna is a Golden Heritage Life Member of the NAACP and has received the Black Achievement Award of the V.A. Black History Committee.

She was an active member of her church, Seventh Day Baptist Church of Battle Creek and for 31 years volunteered as Medical Director at its summer camp programs. She enjoyed family genealogy and reunions, social gatherings and fitness walking.

She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Carl Powell, M.D., currently residing in Battle Creek; a son, Carl Powell, Jr. and her daughter, Lisa Powell, both of Los Angeles.

Very special thanks to Oneita Hubbard for her loving care of Donna for over 4 years.  In deep gratitude to all of the Arcadia Home Health Care workers who gave their kind assistance for many years.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Seventh Day Baptist Church, 200 N. Washington Ave., Battle Creek, MI 49037.

A memorial celebration to be arranged by her family later this summer.  Condolences may be sent to Lisa Powell at lisapowell22@gmail.com

Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on June 30, 2013
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