Muriel Powell

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Muriel C. Powell

Canton - Muriel Cavanaugh Powell, 92, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John Martyn and Laura McDonald Cavanaugh; her husband of more than 50 years, Carl E. Powell, Sr.; a sister, June C. Dulaney and husband, Fred, formerly of Bristol, TN; and a sister-in-law, Inez Powell Merrimon and her husband, Jim, formerly of Enka, NC.

Muriel spent her life in Haywood County until 1994. She attended schools in Haywood County and Peace College in Raleigh, NC. Muriel touched the lives of many people and served tirelessly as a volunteer for various organizations including The American Red Cross, YMCA, Boy Scouts, school PTA's, Haywood County Hospital, but none more dear than St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. According to Father Tim McRee, Rector of St. Andrew's Church, these words are found in the parish records, "Muriel Nesbit Henrietta Cavanaugh (Powell) was born in Montreal Canada on August 9, 1918. She was baptized in infancy in the Anglican Church of Canada and was confirmed at St. Andrew's Church in Canton, NC by Bishop Robert Gribbin of the WNC Diocese on May 5, 1937. Muriel was joined in holy matrimony to Carl Edgerton Powell at St. Andrew's Church on February 11, 1946."

As Father Tim recalls from discussions with Muriel, "her family came to Canton when she was about three years old (around 1921 - 1922) as her father came to work for Champion Pulp and Fiber Corp. They joined St. Andrew's Church which had just been built (cornerstone date 1922). That makes Muriel by far the longest continuous member of St. Andrew's Church going back to the Parish's very beginnings."

"For decades, Muriel was the official and unofficial hostess for Parish meals, receptions, and activities. She was most gracious and welcoming to newcomers and provided the utmost in hospitality at her church and her home. Everyone who was blessed to know Muriel loved her. It was my joy and privilege to serve for nearly 16 years as her priest and pastor. I will greatly miss her."

She is survived by a son, Carl E. "Chip" Powell, Jr., and his wife, Debbie, of Asheville; two brothers, Martyn J. Cavanaugh and his wife, Verna, of Newberry, SC and John M. Cavanaugh and his wife, Barbara, of Lititz, PA; and grandsons, Brandon Scott and Alex Joseph Powell of Asheville.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church with Father Tim McRee officiating. A reception will follow the service in the church Undercroft. Wells Funeral Homes & Cremation Services of Canton is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Organ Fund, 99 Academy Street, Canton, NC 28716.

For those who desire, an online memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at

Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on May 1, 2011
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