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John "Big John" Powell


1929 - 2011 Obituary Condolences
John Powell ("Big John"), eighty-one years old, passed away on Saturday, May 14, 2011 in Scottsdale Arizona. John's death was preceded by that of his wife of fifty-two years, Margo, who passed away on October 28, 2009. John was born on December 2, 1929 in New York City. His father was Wellington Powell, born in Morrisville, New York, and his mother was Orpha Paulene Powell (Anderson), born in Kansas City, Missouri. While growing up, John lived in many different towns throughout New Jersey, New York and Connecticut as his father advanced through his career with New York Telephone. As a boy, John lived in Westfield, Caldwell, Pelham, New Jersey, Buffalo, Loudonville and Monroe, New York and Greenwich, Connecticut. Upon graduating from Milne High School in Albany John attended Colgate University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity, and the Colgate Swim Team. After graduating from Colgate, John enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a lieutenant and gunnery officer on the Destroyer USS Cowell during the Korean War. Upon his honorable discharge from the Navy, John enrolled at Columbia Law School. While attending law school John met and married Margo Proper of Newburgh, New York. They were married on September 14, 1957. While starting his varied career in law and finance, John and Margo lived in Utica, Kinderhook, and Sterling Forest, New York. Their three children, Wally, Maggie, and Donald, were all born in New York. In 1965 John and Margo moved to Palos Verdes Estates, California when John took a finance job with Hughes Aircraft. While living in Southern California, John enjoyed camping and backpacking with his family and friends and participating in Indian Guides, Scouting and coaching soccer with his children. In 1974, John and Margo moved for the last time to Paradise Valley, Arizona when John took a job in Phoenix with computer leasing company, NRG. Shortly thereafter, he decided to go back into law and started his legal practice in Scottsdale, Arizona. John practiced law in Scottsdale for thirty years, specializing in estate planning. He enjoyed active membership in the Scottsdale Bar Association and served a term as president. John was also active in several estate planning groups and the Scottsdale Rotary Club. When John retired from the practice of law in 2004 he was a partner in the firm of Lowry, Clements & Powell. John enjoyed spending his summer weekends at his cabin in Williams, Arizona, listening to Louis Armstrong's Jazz, and dining at the Quilted Bear and Buster's in Scottsdale. He also enjoyed his Springer Spaniels, "Samo" "Nemo" and "Nick". John is survived by his three children, Wally Powell, Margaret Clark (Luke Klein), and Donald Powell, all of Scottsdale. He is also survived by his two brothers, Harrington "Duke" Drake (Patricia Drake) of Wickenburg, Arizona and Donald Powell (Phyllis Powell) of Savannah Georgia. John was a good father and community citizen. He was well known for his honesty, sense of ethics and knowledge of the Law. Dad, Big John, we all miss you! Services will be held on Saturday, June 4 at 10:00 a.m. at Valley Presbyterian Church, 6947 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, John's family suggests that donations be made to the Scottsdale Rotary Club Foundation - scottsdalerotary.org. Please sign the guestbook or send condolences to the family at www.messingermortuary.com.

Messinger Mortuary
(480) 345-9521
Published in Daily Breeze on May 28, 2011
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