Cover photo for Major Dickie G. Powell And Mrs. Catherine M. Powell's Obituary
Major Dickie G. Powell And Mrs. Catherine M. Powell Profile Photo

Major Dickie G. Powell And Mrs. Catherine M. Powell

June 20, 1936 — January 27, 2019

Major Dickie G. Powell And Mrs. Catherine M. Powell

We are saddened to share the following obituaries and the passing of beloved husband and wife:  


Major Powell passed away in 2019 at the age of 80. His beloved wife, Catherine, followed four years later in 2023 at the age of 87. Due to scheduling complications from COVID-19 and Catherine’s ongoing illness, the family made the difficult decision to delay final arrangements. Though no longer with us physically, their deep love for one another and their incredible life and lessons carry on in our memories always.  We find comfort knowing Major Powell and Mrs. Powell will be reunited in eternal rest, as their ashes are to be interred together at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. once a date is finalized.

While we patiently await the day we can honor them at Arlington, we would like to take this opportunity to briefly celebrate their individual lives, their lives in marriage, and their incredible legacy of a life well lived.

Catherine Marie Powell:
Catherine Marie Powell (née Reilly) passed away peacefully on December 25th, 2023 at the age of 87. She is the beloved wife of the late Major Dickie G. Powell, loving mother of Tina Marie Powell, Sheila Margaret Dziezynski, and Amy Louise Powell-Delius. She is also preceded in death by her father, Stephen Tomas Reilly, Sr., mother Mary Catherine (Bowen) Reilly, and her brothers Stephen Thomas Reilly, Jr. and Edmund Walter Reilly.  Catherine was born June 20th, 1936 in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in Hyde Park with a passion for horseback riding and ice skating – and young dreams of joining the Ice-Capades! Catherine went on to graduate from Boston College with degrees in Philosophy and Theology, and proceeded to go to Nursing School. As a nurse, Catherine earned her way to being the youngest female supervisor at Boston City Hospital and touched the lives of so many during her almost 50 year career dedicated to the care of others. Catherine’s adventurous spirit saw her leaving Boston for the sunny West Coast where she met US Army Officer Dickie Gilbert Powell in Monterey, California.

In 1964, Catherine and Dick were married, beginning a lifelong romance that took them on adventures across the globe with Dick’s military career.  She adjusted seamlessly and gracefully to the demands of being an army wife, while continuing to nurture her own career in nursing. Whether working as a school nurse, in public health, or caring for the elderly, she juggled all that life threw her with style and poise – on every level.  Catherine’s journey included 22 moves, welcoming 3 daughters and a menagerie of pets. Wherever she landed, Catherine made a very special, warm, and welcoming home for her family. She embraced every day, every new location and culture with grace, curiosity, and good humor. To say the least, Catherine had worldly wisdom. And, she was infinitely supportive of her family’s dreams, both big and small. The life of Catherine Powell was woven with far too many experiences to relay. From summers on Cape Cod to shucking oysters in Monterey Bay and exploring San Francisco’s ChinaTown, to skiing the cold, swept slopes of the European Alps, buying flowers under the Eiffel Tower in burgeoning Spring, warming up with Gluhwein at a snowy Christkindl Markt, strolling across Prague’s Charles Bridge on a foggy day, sipping wine at sunset on the French Riviera, marveling at the windmills and a sea of tulips of in the Netherlands, to tracing her roots in Ireland… Catherine could relate and adapt to any person or situation she came across and loved to discover and learn from them all! 

In later years, Catherine delighted in being a librarian and feeding her life-long love for books while living in and exploring Berlin, Germany, and all that Europe had to offer.  In 1997, Catherine and Dick finally settled down in the home they built for their retirement years on the Chesapeake Bay in the historic town of St. Michael’s, Maryland. In Catherine’s style, she loved learning everything about the area and its 18th-century heritage. She joined a women’s group called Ya-Ya Sisters and delighted in cooking, hosting, sitting by the pool reading, shopping the historic streets, and tooling around in the boat with Dick, and even continuing to travel, generally enjoying a well-earned retirement. Always strong in her faith, she found solace & community in the lovely Mission of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church during her years in St. Michael’s.  The only challenge Catherine really couldn’t overcome in her lifetime – was the loss of her beloved husband and soul mate. While deeply mourned, their family finds solace in the knowledge that Catherine and Dick are reunited at last. 
Catherine will be profoundly missed by all those fortunate enough to have known her energy, thoughtfulness, love, support, and feisty spirit! The imprint she leaves on her family is her lasting legacy of a life fully lived and explored. We will love her and miss her forever.  

Dickie Gilbert Powell: 
Dickie Gilbert Powell, US Army Major, Ret. passed away on January 27, 2019, lying peacefully next to his wife of 56 years. He will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with full Military Honors (next to his wife Catherine upon a newly awaited scheduled ceremony).  Dick was born on February 15, 1938, in Clebit, Oklahoma and grew up in Hatfield, Arkansas. He is preceded in death by his parents Victor Powell and Ada (Dagenhart) Powell and his two brothers, Keith Powell and Terrance Powell. Dick is survived by his daughters Tina Marie Powell, Sheila Margaret Dziezynski, Amy Powell-Delius, and his sister Willa Dene Powell.  As a young man, Dick worked on the family farm and in logging communities in New Mexico & Oklahoma. In those years he cultivated a dedicated work ethic, perseverance in all things, and a great sense of humor which provided levity and aided his spirit in the many challenges of life.
He graduated from Hatfield High School in 1956, where he was a star basketball player. Dick went on to play two years of collegiate basketball and while at the University of Arkansas, he enlisted in the National Guard and joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, he became a commissioned officer in the United States Army.

As a young officer, Dick met his wife Catherine at a party in Monterey, California. They have both described seeing one another across a crowded room and ‘knowing’, thus beginning a lifetime of love and adventure. They were married in 1964. Dick’s eldest daughter Tina was born in 1965 at Fort Ord in Monterey, California. His middle child Sheila was born in 1968 at Fort Benning, Georgia while Dick became part of the Army Airborne Rangers. His youngest daughter Amy was born in 1974 at the Presidio in San Francisco, CA.  Dick’s military career took him on some heavy assignments – to Vietnam, Ethiopia, Somalia, Alaska, and several European countries – not to mention across the U.S. a few times! Dick was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal as well as the respect and trust of everyone who knew him.  Following a distinguished military career, Dick moved the family to Colorado and then to Texas. He went on to earn another degree and taught Industrial Arts for a short time before returning to government service in Berlin, Germany. He was living in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989!  

One of Dick’s (many) great career accomplishments was rising to the role of Chief of Resource Manpower of USAREUR headquarters at the US Army Garrison Heidelberg, Germany, an installation shared by NATO. True to his adventurous nature and thirst for knowledge, Dick spent those years enjoying all that Germany and Europe had to offer, traveling every opportunity he got and sharing those adventures hand in hand with his wife Catherine. In 1996 he took on his last position before retirement at Fort McNair Army Base in Washington, D.C. Around this time he had also received a life-changing diagnosis of kidney disease. As was his way, Dick took on the challenges of dialysis with incredible grace, strength, and endurance. He was fortunate and
grateful to receive a kidney transplant in 1997. 

He and Catherine went on to build their retirement home in St. Michael’s on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Dick enjoyed exploring the Chesapeake Bay on his boat and eased into a well-earned retirement with Catherine by his side. Together, they created countless wonderful memories through the years and even kept traveling a bit to places like Hawaii, Ireland, throughout the U.S. and even embarked on a few cruises. His love for exploring never waned. Army and government service opened doors for Dick’s adventurous spirit. It also demonstrated his deep devotion to his country. But there was more to Dick than the courage, bravery, and perseverance of a soldier. He was sensitive, intuitive, heartfelt, and curious… always. He was a deep thinker, ever evaluating, questioning, wanting to understand the world around him, and how things worked. His soft brown eyes and his everyday actions were windows into his kindness & humanity. His adventurous side never diminished. He drove motorcycles across the country, rode horses in Guatemala, saw Paris in spring, the Alps in winter, and toured the windmills of Holland. He made every relocation and transition (all 22 of them) experiences to grow from and laugh about. Dick always had “Powell Plan-B” up his sleeve – because he knew it would be needed.

Dick loved music. He played guitar, piano, banjo, and harmonica. His guitar and soothing voice became a mainstay among family and friends and provided the soundtrack for a multifaceted and interesting life. Animals, especially dogs, horses, and cats, were drawn to his innate sense of calm and confidence. He had a special way with animals and this natural gift stayed with him throughout his life. Dick never met a car he couldn’t fix or a project he couldn’t construct with his own capable hands and sharp mind.  He let his accomplishments speak for themselves—a rare thing in today’s self-aggrandizing world. He was never boastful, always humble, honest, and a model of integrity. He quietly, selflessly, and consistently gave of himself throughout his entire life both in his military service and in service to his family.

As his health began to decline and his vision began to fade, he stayed true to his character… Dick found opportunity amidst hardship.  He listened to audiobooks daily, played the guitar until he couldn’t, never missed a chance to sit with his face to the Sun and to say he loved his family—and to “Be good & pet the animals.” Dick was powerful and gentle, a measure by which great men are made. 
He is our loving father, devoted husband, and our hero. We will miss & love him every day.

We honor the Inspiring Lives of MAJOR DICKIE G. POWELL & MRS. CATHERINE M. POWELL. Please feel free to sign the digital guest book below to leave a loving message or positive memory of them with their loving family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Major Dickie G. Powell And Mrs. Catherine M. Powell, please visit our flower store.


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