On the morning of Saturday May 18, 2013, 96 year old James Elwood Powell quietly passed away in his home in Constantine, MI, surrounded by his immediate family. Elwood was born August 15, 1916, to Delbert and Edna (Nusbaum) Powell in Constantine Township, St. Joseph County, Michigan, one of ten children, and spent most of his life living in Constantine. He attended Maple Street Country School and Constantine High School. He farmed with his father until he was 21, when he went to work on a Silver Fox Farm north of Cassopolis, and worked there until he was drafted in the Army on February 6, 1942. He received his training at Camp Robinson in Arkansas and Camp Rucker in Alabama, and served 4 1/2 years in the armed service. He joined Company B of the 88th Chemical Heavy Mortar Battalion and fought in the Asian Theater of World War II. He was wounded May 13, 1945 while fighting on Okinawa, for which he received the Purple Heart. He was discharged August 2, 1946 from Percy Jones Convalescence Hospital, Battle Creek, MI.
On January 6, 1946, in Sturgis, Michigan, Elwood was married to Marjorie E. Munger, and this past January they celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary. She survives along with one daughter Karen Marie, a brother Elton (Betty) Powell of Three Rivers, and a sister Doralee (Carl) Kentner of Lansing, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Omar Dale, Howard (Nina) and Eugene (Nedra) Powell, and four sisters Nina (Gordon) Collison, Alice June (Raymond) Spencer, DeVere Powell and Marjorie (Delbert) Eby.
Besides farming, Elwood worked for Lee Tracy’s Filling Station, Formed Tubes of Sturgis, as Manager of the Heifitz Pickle Station in White Pigeon, and Grumman Olson Bodies of Sturgis, from where he retired in 1979. He also worked as a self-employed house painter (interior and exterior) for a number of years.
Elwood’s hobbies were gardening (both flowers and vegetables), traveling and spending Friday’s at the horse sale in Shipshewana, IN. He was a member of the Constantine United Methodist Church where he served as Board Chairman for one year and many years as a Trustee.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, May 21, 2013, from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Eley Funeral Home in Constantine, MI Services will be conducted in the Constantine United Methodist Church at 11 am on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Interment will be in the Constantine Township Cemetery. Memorials can be directed to the Constantine United Methodist Church Roof Project. The family wishes to thank Three Rivers Health Hospice for their wonderful care. Online messages may be left for the family at www.eleyfuneralhomes.com.