Nelson Powell died on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009, in Green Valley, Ariz., He leaves behind his daughters Nancy Klapak, Jane Powell and Mary Enderle; and his two grandchildren, Karin Klapak Hernandez and Brian Klapak.
Nelson was a pun loving, harmonica playing, storytelling family man. You knew if his hand was placed on your shoulder that you were in for a story or two, many of which you may have heard once or twice before.
Nelson was born March 27, 1913, the second in a family of five. He survived the depression and committed to getting through college, at times working three jobs. He graduated from Ohio University and went on to be an Electrical Engineer. The highlights of his career were working on the Manhattan project in Oakridge, Tennessee, at Lockheed in aerospace and being Chief Engineer at El Camino Hospital in California.
He met his wife Peg in college at a church dance where he invited her into the center of a circle and the only way you could get out of the circle was to make someone laugh. They spent over 60 years together and he loved her deeply. He taught everyone he met the power of laughter, even if you were cringing at one of his bad puns. Their sense of humor will live on when Nelson is buried next to his wife Peg's gravestone, which says: "I'll be waiting in the car," and Nelson's reads "I'll be there in a minute."
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Medford Congregational Church, 1801 E Jackson, Medford, Ore., 97504, 541-772-8860. A celebration of his life will be held on what would have been his 96th birthday at the Medford Congregational Church Friday, March 27, 2009, at 2 p.m., followed by an ice cream social to honor Nelson's long love affair with ice cream and cookies.