Mary Etta Powell, 95, of Tampa, Florida, died peacefully on Friday, March 18, 2016, and went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
She was born (with identical twin Betty) on a farm in Monroe Center, Illinois, to Walter and Rose Holmes and graduated from Kenosha High in 1938.
Mary Etta earned the highest Girl Scout Award, the Golden Eaglet, and lived by the values she learned throughout her life. She was a Girl Scout Counselor and active on the local Girl Scout board, which furthered the scouting programs in Kenosha.
Mary Etta’s parents conspired with Richard Powell's to have their children meet at the First Presbyterian Church. She and Dick were married October 23, 1943. During World War II, she worked as a secretary at Snap-On Tools. While raising her six children, she was very active at Trinity Lutheran Church and served on the Women's Auxiliary Board of Kenosha Memorial Hospital. She enjoyed time spent at the family’s Minocqua cabin, especially walking in the woods and reading on the screened-in porch.
After retiring in 1984, Mary Etta and Dick moved to Port Charlotte, Florida. Rose also lived with them, and eventually went to the John Knox Village retirement center in Tampa. In 1994, Mary Etta and Dick followed. She enjoyed water aerobics, making lap robes for friends, reading, mimosas and time spent with her mom and Boyd. She also delighted in not having to prepare meals for herself or anyone else.
Richard A. Powell, M.D. preceded her in death on January 12, 2006, after 63 wonderful years of marriage.
Mary Etta is survived by six children: David (Kathleen Behner) Powell, M.D.; Margaret (James Stevens) Powell Day; John Powell, Psy.D.; Bruce Powell, M.F.A.; Paul (Carol Weiss) Powell and James (Mira Minhuei Chuang) Powell; three siblings: Betty Jo Partridge, Boyd and Glen Holmes; ten grandchildren: Lisa Day McBride, Brian and Joseph Day, Matthew, Emily, Shane, Jesse, Christopher, Stephanie and Melissa Powell, and two great-grandchildren: Ian, and Addison McBride.
A few of Mary Etta's favorite sayings to her children were: "Be ye kind." "You know, the squeaky wheel doesn’t always get the grease; sometimes it just gets replaced." "If you can't say something nice, write a letter." "You know, you don’t have to listen to your father all the time about all becoming doctors. I could really use an appliance repairman, a plumber and a car mechanic." When they did do something nice, she pointed her finger at them, smiling, and said, "You must have had a nice mother." They did.
The Powell siblings give John their love and gratitude for the joy that he and his children brought to Mary Etta and Dick in Florida, and for the way he lovingly oversaw their care through the years.
A private service was held at Green Ridge Cemetery in Kenosha, on March 30, 2016. Pastor Tom Smith of Trinity Lutheran Church officiated.