Father Edward F. Powell, age 87, of Tomahawk, passed away on Thursday, November 19, 2015, at Ministry Sacred Heart Hospital in Tomahawk. He was born September 14, 1928, in Chicago, IL, to the late Raymond and Ann (Hassmer) Powell.
Father Powell was born and raised in the Chicago area. With his sights set on the priesthood, Father Powell attended Quigley Preparatory Seminar in Chicago where he finished high school in three years and then two years of college. In 1949, he entered St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, IL, where over the next seven years, he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, his Master’s in Religion and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. Father Powell was ordained on May 22, 1954, in the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. The very next day, he was in Tomahawk celebrating his first solo Mass. Father Powell’s first appointment in 1954 was as associate pastor at Holy Rosary Parish in Medford where he served for three years. Another three years were spent at St. Peter Church in Winter, with missions at Raddison and Couderay. From 1961 to 1968, he was pastor of St. Louis Church in Superior, where he helped parishioners deal with a tragedy after their church burned in 1966. He was back in Tomahawk in 1968, marking 18 years as pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church which included mission at St. Francis Church in Pier-Willow and St. Augustine Church in Harrison. Father Powell served as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Merrill from 1986 to 1993. He retired in 1994, although his service to St. Mary’s cluster continued, as did work with residents and staff of Bell Tower in Merrill and Sacred Heart Hospital in Tomahawk.
Father Powell was a founding board member of the Sacred Heart Hospital Foundation and was the 1986 recipient of the foundation’s “Partner in Health Award” which recognized his ministry to his parishioners, school children, community families in need and hospitalized patients. He also was on the Ethics Committee at Good Samaritan Hospital in Merrill and was active in the Knights of Columbus, serving as state chaplain for three years. Father Powell had great joy in his position while working with young people in the schools and doing some teaching in the classrooms. He leaves behind a legacy of community leadership.
Father had a special place in his heart for children and animals. He enjoyed challenging crossword puzzles and puzzles, reading great literature and golfing. He had a passion for the arts and enjoyed attending plays at the Grand Theater in Wausau and the American Players Theater in Spring Green. He could be found on his swing overlooking Lake Mohawksin feeding the birds. Father Powell was truly devoted to his family and friends and touched the souls of everyone he knew.
Father Powell is survived by his Sister, Mary Ann (William) Hannon, of Westchester, IL;
Special Extended Family, Jack and Kathy Huston, of Tomahawk; Jim, Susan, Emmaleigh and Max Huston of Eau Claire; Jesse, Rachel, Chloe and Jase Huston of Merrill; Bill, Jackie, Alisyn and Haleigh Amant of Baraboo; and Chris, Logan and Jordan Huston of Tomahawk.
Father Powell is further survived by several Nieces and Nephews.
He was preceded in death by his Parents, Raymond and Ann.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Father Edward Powell will be celebrated on Monday, November 23, 2015, at 11:00 AM, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Tomahawk. Visitation will take place on Sunday, November 22, 2015, from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at St. Mary Catholic Church and again on Monday, from 9:00 AM until the time of Services at 11:00 AM. A Wake Service will be held on Sunday at 7:00 PM.
Burial will take place at Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in Hillside, IL.
The Diocese of Superior and the family are being assisted by Generations Funeral Home in Tomahawk. View Father Powell’s obituary and leave online condolences at generationsfuneral.com.