Roy Powell

12/1/1937 – 1/7/2024

As Father’s Day approaches, I realize this day of celebration is for me forever changed. I can’t call my dad this year–or any others from now on. But I will celebrate my daddy and hold his memory forever in my heart.

Jim and I took on the task of caregiving on April 2, 2023, when my dad received the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and heart failure that brought in the hospice team. The journey was challenging, wonderful, exhausting, enlightening, and special. But most of all, it was a privilege. A privilege for us–along with family and dear friends–to be part of Team Roy!!

And as is the way with life, we eventually had to say goodbye. I penned these words to read as we celebrated his full, adventurous life.


To you, Dad:

I’ve always considered myself a “daddy’s girl” and tried to do all the things the son you had wanted so badly would do. Fortunately, most of those things suited me well, and I didn’t have to try too hard to be the tomboy you sometimes affectionately called “George.” One of the first projects I remember working on along side you was when I was five and we sanded and painted my first bicycle. One of us chose red (not sure who, but I have a pretty good idea). And when I thought we were finished, you surprised me by making a stencil and painting a black diamond on the back fender. It was fancy.

There are so many practical and useful things you taught me: like how to dig for night crawlers, bait my own hook, cast a line, and clean the fish we caught. Important stuff! I learned at an early age how to recognize the sound the car engine makes when it’s time to shift gears as I sat close by or on your lap while you drove. You taught me to change a tire, and check the oil and water in the family car. And how many girls can say her dad taught her to glue trusses or lay shingles and pound roofing nails on a new church roof?

No, of course you weren’t perfect…no parent is. But as an adult (particularly during this past decade), I’ve been pleased to watch you evolve and change, being willing to try to put aside some of the learned prejudices and preconceived ideas from the past and move forward with more kindness, sensitivity and tolerance on many levels.

I was so proud when I learned you bought camp chairs to give to school crossing guards when you noticed they had nowhere to sit in the shade on a hot sunny day. It was generous and thoughtful how you waited anxiously each day to gift your mail carrier and garbage men with a cold drink and snack. And it was so sweet that you took flowers and chocolates to your doctor’s office staff to say thank you to the hardworking women in honor of Mom on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. People noticed. You lifted their spirits with your kindness. You made them smile. They remember.

And during these last 9 months as we hung out together, I realized things about you I had either never really noticed or had taken for granted; such as how you put a lot of thought and care in how you dressed…sometimes agonizing a bit over choosing the appropriate ensemble for the situation or occasion. Even when you were only comfortable in sweat pants, we made sure all your clothes matched, and as often as possible even down to the slipper socks you wore. And you had a different hair style for church than for everyday. I had never noticed. I dubbed you, “Dapper Dad”. You were meticulous, organized, energetic, positive, independent, strong, competitive, motivated, and, yes, stubborn—many times in spite of and to the detriment of your increasingly compromised health. 

It was heart warming to see how you were a favorite patient in the doctor’s office—like a celebrity who got special treatment. House calls, even. And the hospice nurses all expressed how much they loved to visit and hear about your interesting life and your beautiful love story with Mom.

While your physical heart may have been failing, your pastor’s heart was strong to the very end…taking time to pray with others who expressed a need even when you were so weak you could barely speak above a whisper. Always loving and encouraging your friends. Forever their Pastor Roy. 

Your love for Jim and the bond that developed quickly has made my life easier and richer. He has said more than once that you were the best father-in-law he could have asked for. Your enthusiastic support and encouragement for the nomadic lifestyle we embrace is special to us and so appreciated. We will continue to travel in our RV home and raise a glass to you and Mom as we adventure to new places.

You have filled many special rolls for so many people over the years. But as for me, I get to call you Daddy. And I was honored to be holding your hand as you took your last breath and finally crossed the finish line to rest and hear, “Well done!”

So much love,

aka Vivian


Now I leave you with this anecdote: 

My dad *loved* sweets, especially ice cream. One evening when it was his turn to pray over dinner, his heart was not pumping efficiently causing him to struggle to find the correct words to say…but he didn’t want to give up. He slowly thanked the Lord for the food and the hands that prepared it and then after a long pause said, “May she always shine like ice cream.” 

It seemed like nonsense at the time, but as I thought about it further, I realized that in his mind there weren’t too many things that could be better. So this will forever be my aspiration and mantra…

May I *always* shine like ice cream!


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