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Benjamin L. Powell Jr.

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AZUSA, Calif. -- Benjamin Lewis Powell Jr. was born in Springfield, Mass., April 7, 1922. After a long battle with illness, Ben reported to Heaven’s gate on March 15, 2005, at Kindred Hospital, West Covina.

Ben is survived by his loving wife, Geraldine of 32 years in Azusa; his children of a previous marriage, Benjamin Lewis Powell III of Florida, Barbra Powell, Jerrie Leaman and David Powell of California; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

While living in Bennington,Vt., Ben was employed with Bijur Lubricating Corp. He moved to Azusa in 1962.

His interests after retirement were visiting retirement homes where he enjoyed playing piano and organ for the old folks. He also enjoyed playing his harmonica. Ben would also recite poetry, among his favorites was “The Cremation of Sam McGee” which was a big hit.

Ben was an avid reader of history, geography and current events; he leaves many books behind.

Ben served with the 1st Marine Division in World War II in Guadalcanal, Aug. 7, 1942. In his last days, four officers, who are in Ben’s same division, L-3-1 and had recently returned stateside from Iraq back to Camp Pendleton, visited Ben on two different days. They look out for their “brothers.” Ben was part of the greatest generation.

During his funeral service, six Marines stood guard at his casket. Four officers, a major, captain, first lieutenant, and second lieutenant, were seated with the family. The music at the end of the service was an organ tape recorded by Ben himself in 1986. “Somewhere My Love” was just one of the many songs. This was very special to the family to have Ben participate in his own service.

At the gravesite, seven additional Marines in kahki gave the 21-gun salute. Six Marines who were pall bearers folded the flag. Major Watson presented the flag to Geraldine with the shells and a Marine medallion placed in the fold of the flag. We are sure Ben was very happy with his send-off. The service was quite impressive with the 17 Marines.

Services were held March 23 in the chapel and grave site of Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Covina, on a beautiful clear morning.
Published in Bennington Banner on June 27, 2005
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