Dr. Jack Powell
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Asheville - Dr. Jack Powell of Asheville, age 92, died peacefully on Sunday, February 9th, 2014 at Tore's Home in Brevard, NC.
Born on July 16, 1921 in Vienna, Georgia, Jack was the son of the late Grady and Bessie Powell.
Jack was incredibly driven to get an education and was fortunate enough to begin his education at Fletcher Academy (NC). He graduated from Fletcher Academy and attended Washington Missionary College in Washington, DC. It was in Washington where he met the love of his life, Mary Jo Foggin.
Jack's dream finally became a reality and he began medical school at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California. He and Mary Jo married. During his time at Loma Linda, the U.S. Army commandeered the medical school due to the need for doctors in WW II. Jack became enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Promptly after graduating from medical school, Jack was called to duty. He and his family boarded a troop ship and moved to Germany for two years. He became a Captain and the highest rank in the hospital, and was designated head of surgery (although he was not yet a surgeon). Notably, he was Commander and Chief of the first U.S. ARMY M.A.S.H. After the war, he continued his education of general surgery at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas.
In 1953, Jack and Mary moved their family to Asheville, NC. He started his own general surgery practice, operating mostly at St Joseph's Hospital and Memorial Mission Hospital. He was highly respected by peers for his skill and knowledge in medicine and truly loved by his patients for his compassion and understanding. Jack was honored to serve as hospital Chief of Staff and retired in 1989.
Jack and Mary lived a beautiful, adventurous life including backpacking, hiking, fly fishing and snow skiing. Although they treasured their international travels, Jack's true love was our very own Smoky Mountains. They spent many weekends camping in their infamous silver Airstream. His favorite hiking trail was Kephart Prong (NC), where he could name every native tree and wild flower. Jack loved his tradition of taking the "men of the family" every Memorial Day weekend on a three day fly fishing trip to Hazel Creek (NC). Perhaps his love of these special mountains was born when he traveled as a teen to Newfound Gap to see Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicate the Smokies as a National Park on September 2nd, 1940.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents and four siblings: John and Rosalie (both infants), Lorena and Peggy. He is survived by his precious, devoted wife of 69 years, Mary Jo, and their three children and their spouses: Lori (Gene) Voth of Asheville, Rob (Meridith) Powell of Asheville, and Kathryn (Dennis) Allen of Brevard; five grandchildren and spouses: Kent Wolff, Lorena (Bob) Wade, Stephanie (Jamey) Grant, Heather Christensen and Chappie (Shannon) Powell; and his eight great-grandchildren.
A reception to celebrate Jack's life will be held on Saturday, March 15th from 3:00-5:00 pm at The Ramble Living Well Center, 139 Valley Springs Road, Asheville, NC.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 17th at 2:30 pm at the Asheville North Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 364 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC.
Donations in honor of Jack's passion for our Smoky Mountains may be made to" Friends of the Smokies" P.O. Box 1660, Kodak, TN 37764-7660.
The family would like to give special thanks to the staff at Tore's Home in Brevard, NC.
An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting www.thosshepherd.com. Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center is in charge of arrangements.
Thos. Shepherd & Son - Hendersonville
125 South Church Street Hendersonville, NC 28792
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times from Feb. 21 to Mar. 2, 2014