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Michael L. Powder

1939 - 2019
Michael L. Powder Obituary
(News story) Michael L. Powder, a former executive director of the Jewish Community Center who had a business in which he helped clients with tax returns - and represented them to the IRS - died Wednesday in ProMedica Flower Hospital. He was 80.

He was in ill health for several years, son Scott said.

Mr. Powder of Sylvania Township never retired, technically, his son said.

"He maintained a small base of clients for whom he was providing tax representation service to the IRS," his son said. "He liked helping people. He had skills in this particular area, and he wanted to help the people he helped for so long."

His tax business grew out of the bookkeeping he did for small businesses. He in turn often helped with those businesses' tax returns and later became a enrolled agent qualified to deal with the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of his clients.

"He loved solving problems for people, and he loved being an expert in his field and someone who was consulted for thorny and complicated problems," his son said.

He negotiated settlements with the IRS, and he pointed out where the government had mistakenly assessed taxes or penalties. In 1999, Mr. Powder was elected to the board of the Ohio State Society of Enrolled Agents as the director at large.

For much of Mr. Powder's early career, he worked in the family firm, B&J Vending. He oversaw the accounting and, given the nature of the business, kept track of every cent.

"They had bags of pennies and nickels and dimes around all the time," his son said. In the small office, he also had a role in operations and supervised driver routes.

He'd been president of B&J Vending in 1985 when he was named executive director of the Jewish Community Center. He was president of the board four years earlier as a volunteer. Originally in central Toledo and then in the Old West End, the JCC had moved to Sylvania Township in the mid-1970s. To Mr. Powder, the center was more than a recreational facility.

"I grew up here at the center, and my kids grew up at the center," Mr. Powder told The Blade in 1990. "It offered me a feeling of belonging and I learned teamwork and what it meant to be successful. It gave me a place to go that was fun."

He liked to travel - with his wife and other couples or, for years, with a group of three other men to Las Vegas.

"He was best described as a lovable curmudgeon. He loved to prank his friends," longtime friend Randy Auslander said. Another friend Barry Himmel added: "Mike was a character, truly a character."

Friends knew, Mr. Powder's son said, "the more he liked you, the more he played practical jokes on you."

He was a member of The Temple-Congregation Shomer Emunim, Sylvania Township.

He and the former Susan Nichols married Feb. 3, 1963. She died Feb. 1, 2016.

Surviving are his sons, Scott and Jeremy Powder, and two granddaughters.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Sunday in Robert H. Wick/?Wisniewski Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to Advocate Charitable Foundation, Downers Grove, Ill., or advocategiving.org.

This is a news story by Mark Zaborney. Contact him at [email protected] or 419-724-6182.
Published in The Blade on Aug. 10, 2019
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