1939 -2013 Kathy Powers, a life long resident of Manchester, died peacefully at Dartmouth/Hitchcock Clinic on June 21, 2013. She had struggled with various debilitating medical problems over the last 3 1/2 months and as her medical problems multiplied, her independence ebbed, and she was increasingly confined to her apartment. This was very difficult for her to accept and with little prospect of gaining her strength she found herself more and more dependent on others, something that did not set well with her.
She came into the world like a fire cracker on July 4, 1939, the first child of Betty (Shaw) and Don Powers. In her early years she was the manifestation of the perfect child with chubby red cheeks and curly blond hair. However. the red cheeks signaled a latent disease known as polycythema-vera, a blood disease generally only affecting older people. As of this date she is still the youngest person diagnosed with this rare disease. As a teenager she had multiple illnesses which were treated at Children's Hospital and Peter Bent Brigham in Boston and from 1955 into the 60's she had several operations to try and control and correct multiple conditions. Although ultimately saving her life, at the same time the various medical procedures robbed her of her teen age years, setting her somewhat apart from her peer group at Burr & Burton. After graduating, she attempted to become a Practical Nurse, and when that proved too difficult for her she started a long career as a nurse's aide and geriatric social worker and held many positions with the United Counseling Service, South Western Vermont Medical Center and Equinox Terrace in various positions. Her final years at work were spent installing life-lines for senior citizens. She flourished in this position and became a much beloved representative of SWVH. She also was very active in the First Baptist Church of Manchester and later in the United Church of Dorset. After retiring from SWVH she devoted her time to helping the elderly and infirm. At the same time she was able to travel to Ireland and Hawaii and to take a Carnival Cruise as well as several participating in many bus day trips organized by the Hospital in Bennington. During this time she became an avid follower and fan of Hot Air Balloon Festivals and enjoyed many rides in the clouds, oblivious to the potential danger. She especially enjoyed and was an enthusiastic supporter of "Friday Night Pub" at the home of Wayne Bell and Tara Dowden. During her long and active life she was President of the Vermont Conference of Social Concerns, awarded citizen of the year by the Equinox Grange, worked with the Manchester Health Services, Northshire Day Care, and many, many organizations to numerous to list. For a girl that doctors felt would not live to be 16 she packed in a lot of life and has left this world just short of her 74th birthday. A life lived to the fullest.
She is survived by her only brother, Michael Powers and his wife Barbara, her nephews Chris and Craig Powers and Craig's wife Donna, and the love of her life, her grand nieces Alair and Josie Powers. She will be missed but certainly not forgotten.
MEMORIAL NOTICE: A grave-side committal service will be held for family and close friends at Dellwood Cemetery on Saturday, June 29th at 10:00AM. A memorial service honoring her life will be held at a later date. Contributions in her memory for the Soutwestern Vermont Health Care Auxiliary can be sent to SVHC Foundation,100 Hospital Drive, Bennington, Vermont 05201
Published in The Manchester Journal from June 28 to July 19, 2013