Thomas Edison Powell
MILFORD – Thomas Edison Powell, age 100, passed away peacefully at home May 9, 2016. Born April 23, 1916, the son of Lillie Mae (Ireland) and Thomas Everett Powell.
Thomas was born in the Harmony/Valentine area of Nebraska. He grew up in various locations; Dallas, TX; Chicago, Ill.; and Elyria, Ohio, due to his stepfather’s work in the construction equipment business. Eventually they moved to Blair, Neb., where he graduated from Blair High School.
After graduation, he worked briefly for the local power company reading meters. He later gained a position with the Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C., in the apprentice pressman program. His training was interrupted during World War II. After the war’s end, he returned to complete his training and became a head pressman in the security section. He retired after 36 years with the Government Printing Office.
During World War II, Thomas served in the U.S. Navy from July 5, 1943-Nov. 8, 1945. He was trained and served as a Navy SeaBee, 115th Battalion. He saw service in New Guinea and the Philippines, building naval bases. He was discharged from the Navy as a Machinists Mate Third Class.
Upon retirement, he and his wife Inabelle moved to Milford, NH, to be closer to their daughter and her family. Inabelle passed in 1993 and Thomas was brought into his daughter Mary’s home to live with her until his passing.
Thomas had a curious and ingenious mind. He loved to tinker. He enjoyed working on his Indian motorcycle, cars and vans. He also enjoyed television repair. He and his family travelled the country and made many return trips home to Nebraska. Thomas was an enthusiastic photographer, genealogical researcher, gardener, and he loved computers and kept up with all the new technology. Even at the age of 100 he was using email, tablets and the latest laptops. He was a loyal fan of many years of the University of Nebraska ‘Cornhuskers’ football team.
Thomas is predeceased by his wife of 54 years, Inabelle (Stricklett) Powell.
He is survived by a son, Thomas Edward Powell and his wife Burma of Clemmons, NC; a daughter, Mary Virginia Dickson and her husband Frederick Dickson of Milford; five grandchildren, Thomas O’Connor, Michael Thomas Powell, Peter Lindsay Parenti of Milford, David Alan Parenti and his wife Jessica of Westborough, MA, Sean Thomas Parenti and his wife Neala of Boston, MA; and six great-grandchildren, Grace, Julianna, Samuel, Emilia, Cormac and Mary Parenti.
A graveside service with military honors was held May 13 at Blair Cemetery in Blair, Neb. Donations may be made to the Blair Congregational Church or any charity in Thomas’ name. Local arrangements are in the care of Smith & Heald Funeral Home, Milford. To share a memory or offer condolences, visit www.smith-heald.com.