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Happel Ray Powell, aged 94, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, passed away peacefully Friday, January 7, 2022.
Ray was born on September 11, 1927, in rural western Tennessee, near Trenton. In 1928, the family moved to St. Louis County, Missouri. He attended Hancock High School in Lemay, Missouri, and graduated from Missouri University at Columbia in 1948.
Ray spent 1950 – 1952 with the Army’s 115th Anti-Aircraft Operations Detachment at Ft. Lawton in Seattle, Washington. During this time, his Missouri sweetheart, Bonnie Jean Giesler, came west and they were married at Ft. Lewis, Washington, on June 8, 1951. They remained married over 70 years and had three children and a great family life, which meant the world to him.
Ray had a long career of over 40 years employed by Western Auto Supply Company, first in retail store management in St. Louis, Missouri, and then (following his Army days) in merchandise replenishment at distribution centers in Cincinnati, Ohio, Memphis, Tennessee and Nashville, Tennessee. From 1959 until retirement in 1989, Ray served at Western Auto’s corporate office in Kansas City, Missouri.
Wherever Ray and Bonnie lived, they found a Baptist church in which to serve. They have been members of First Baptist Lee’s Summit since 2005.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, James E. Powell of Brenham, Texas, and Nina Sebastian of Lemay, Missouri, and his sister, Blondell Schmaltz of Mehlville, Missouri.
Ray is survived by his wife, Bonnie, of Lee’s Summit; son David (Teresa) of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; son Steve (Judy) of The Woodlands, Texas; and daughter Susan (Sam Myers) of Raymore; 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will begin at 1 pm on Friday, January 14, 2022, at First Baptist Lee’s Summit, with the service to follow at 2 pm. Graveside service will be held at Oak Forest Cemetery in Bland, Missouri, on Saturday, January 15, at 1 pm.
In lieu of flowers, Ray would like any donations to be made to Hillcrest Baptist Church, 205 Black Diamond Road, Port Angeles, Washington, 98363.
Melissa Feeney says
We are sorry to hear of the loss of such a great man. Ray meant a lot to our family. We will be keeping Bonnie, Susan & their whole family in our prayers. He will surely be missed by many!
James Tucker says
I know of Mr. Powell because he has a great son(Steve) in the Woodlands, TX. I am sure that Steve was influenced by his father especially and other family members. I wanted to express my sincere condolences to all of the family.
Judith Jewell says
I miss both Ray and Bonnie since they no longer worship in our church building! They were and are wonderful people. I sat beside them in Sunday School and Ray made me two origami 1$ which I still have. I know where he is and God will take care of him. I will see him when my time comes as well. My prayers are with Bonnie and the family.
Norma Looker says
The world is a little smaller without Ray. His presence submitted love,joy,and kindness. He is already missed, and I am honored to have had his friendship. Bonnie I am always here for you. so happy you have your great family.
Edna A. Speidel says
My sincere sympathies go out to you, Bonnie and family. How well I remember you from our college days at Leming Hall in Cape Girardeau, MO. Thank you so much for coming to my 90th birthday party this last August. It was great to see you. Little did I know that that would be my last time to see Ray on this earth, but we can rejoice in knowing that we will see him again in heaven. You are in my thoughts and prayers.