Nowata resident Jack M.B. Powell, 94, passed from this life Thursday, June 20, 2013 at Jane Phillips Medical Center in Bartlesville. Jack was born February 19, 1919, in Ruby, Oklahoma, to Wendel Adolphus Powell and Mary Verna (Armstrong) Powell, and is a great-great grandson of Charles Journeycake, Chief of Delaware Indians. His was a hardscrabble childhood growing up on his grandparent's farm north of Nowata. His rough-and-tumble youth and young adulthood were filled with rodeos, and living fast and hard. He served his country in WWII from July, 1, 1942 to December 30, 1945, in Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines, and Korea as a Tech Sergeant in the 15th Army Air Corps. On February 22, 1947 he married the love of his life, Lula Rose (Posey) Frieden.
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Jack and Posey started their life together at Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater where he studied engineering. They moved to Oklahoma City where both worked and their daughter, Liz was born in March 1952. In 1968 the family moved back to Nowata when Jack accepted a job with Phillips Petroleum. Posey died April 22, 1982 at age 58. Jack continued to work until his retirement in 1984.
Jack later married Betty (Benjamin) Poole, a former high school classmate. Betty's daughter, Roxie, worked for Frontier Airlines and the three enjoyed many trips to exotic places, including Jack's beloved Australia where he won the 1944 Championship bull riding event during the war. Jack and Betty later divorced but he remained close to Roxie.
A few years later Jack married Carroll Marrs and moved to Bartlesville. They divorced but maintained a friendship. Jack moved back to Nowata where he spent the remainder of his days golfing, walking his dogs Sugar, then Frosty, and most recently Smokey; attending the Senior Center and Nowata First Christian Church.
Jack maintained lasting friendships from high school, rodeo, Army days, and from Crown Heights Christian church in Oklahoma City. He made many new friends when they returned to Nowata. He and Posey were active in the Nowata County Club. In later years he golfed regularly with his Schnauzer Sugar riding along in the cart.
Perhaps one of his most memorable good-deeds was visiting the children of friends, dressed as Santa Claus, with "special" Christmas gifts. Those, now grown up children, still remember those visits. Children in his neighborhood today are still attracted to his special aura of love and friendship.
Though he never thought about how he wanted to be remembered, he will be remembered as a regular guy whose path in life touched many, with the blessings of true friendship, understanding, and compassion.
Jack is survived by a daughter Elizabeth "Liz" Parker and her husband Jim, of Kemmerer, Wyoming; and a step-daughter Roxie Poole, of Aurora, Colorado.
Services for Jack Powell will be held 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 26, 2012 at the First Christian Church of Nowata, with Reverend Rob Crawford officiating. Services are under the direction of Benjamin Funeral Service of Nowata. The family suggests donations to the 10-33 wheelchair van in Nowata, the Nowata Senior Citizens, or Home Health, 2000 W. Blue Starr Drive, Claremore, Oklahoma 74017. Online condolences may be left at www.honoringmemories.com
Benjamin Funeral Home
114 West Cherokee Nowata, OK 74048
Published in Examiner-Enterprise from June 25 to July 24, 2013