In Remembrance: Lee R. Powell ’54 Died on April 8 2022

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Col. Lee R. Powell (USAF-retired) passed away to join our Lord on April 8, 2022, in Dayton, Ohio, at the age of 89.  He was born in 1932 in Potsdam, New York, the son of Robert W. Powell Sr. and Margaret C. (Kreisel) Powell.  

Lee grew up in Potsdam, and was active in scouting, athletics, and church during his youth.  He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force after graduating from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial administration/engineering in 1954.  Lee went on to serve with distinction in 11 assignments over a 30-year career, including tours in England as an armed forces courier officer, Plattsburgh AFB (New York) as a missile launch officer, Vietnam as an advisor to the Vietnamese Air Force during 1967–68, and at Indiana University where he earned his MBA.  His career then settled in the contract administration area, including tours in Milwaukee involving the Apollo program, Eglin AFB (Florida) as chief of R&D contracts for weapons systems development, and at General Electric in Lynn, Massachusetss, as deputy commander of the Air Force Procurement Representative Office. Lee finished his career in 1984 at Wright-Patterson AFB as chief of the contracts division purchasing jet engines for the Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Presidential Fleet, and foreign countries. During his career he was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, and multiple commendation medals.

Lee always enjoyed spending time with his family, working on various projects, including being an avid genealogy enthusiast, and traveling to new places.  After retiring, he and his wife Jane frequently visited with his sons Lance and Gregg, stepdaughter Rae, and their families, and over the years Lee and Jane enjoyed several memorable vacations together. While retired he also published four invaluable family genealogy books.    

He was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Bob (Yale class of ’52), and his grandson, Grant.  Lee is survived by his wife Jane, first wife Joy Powell, son and daughter-in-law Lance and Emily, grandson Mitchell (Yale class of 2016), son and daughter-in-law Gregg and Donna, stepdaughter and son-in-law Rae and Terry Metz, sister-in-law Betty Powell, and nieces and nephew Betsy Powell, Stephen Powell, and Meg Powell.

A memorial service for Lee was held on May 21, 2022, at the Belton-Stroup Funeral Home, and his ashes were buried with military honors that same day in the Fairfield Cemetery in Fairborn, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Hospice of Dayton, or to the church or charity of your choice.

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