Gene Powers Obituary

Gene L. Powers
Gene L. Powers
Gene L. Powers

February 21, 1916 - May 13, 2008
Born in Ottumwa, IA
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Gene L. Powers, 92, of Des Moines, passed away Tuesday, May 13, 2008 from complications following pneumonia. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 16, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Des Moines. Burial will follow at Glendale Cemetery.

Gene was born February 21, 1916 in Ottumwa, Iowa, the youngest child of Frederick and Zora (Holmes) Powers. He grew up in Des Moines and graduated from Roosevelt High School. On Sept. 17, 1937 he married his soul-mate, Marie Hafner. They had been married for 66 years when she passed away in 2003.

Former corporate director of sales training and sales personnel for Swift & Co., Chicago (where he was honored as top salesman); Des Moines Sales Dubuque Packing Co. and Iowa Packing Co.; and CEO of DuBQ Meats, Des Moines, Gene was a well-known figure in metro meat departments.

Gene shared his sales and marketing expertise teaching classes at Drake, Loyola, University of Illinois, Northwestern and DMACC. He was also an active leader in the Service Corp of Retired Executives (S.C.O.R.E.).

Prior to his retirement this year, Gene played the grand piano at Von Maur, Valley West Mall, West Des Moines, three times weekly since 1986. Popular with all ages, Gene played without sheet music, and had a repertoire of over 2500 songs.

Volunteering his musical therapy over the past 25 years, he played over 300 free concerts annually for dozens of area nursing homes, all the Des Moines hospitals and the Iowa Correctional Facility for Women in Mitchellville.

Gene was so proud to be honored throughout the years. Highlights include: State of Iowa Shining Star Award (2006) for Ongoing Commitment to the improvement of quality of life of Iowa's elders; Score Gold Member Award for exceptional contribution and meritorious service; United Way of Central Iowa Dick Heise Award for continuous outstanding service to the community; Iowan of the Day, Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation, for significant contributions to the community and exhibiting integrity, dependability, sense of community and strong work ethic (1997); Channel 8 News Leading the Way award for outstanding effort for caring, creating hope and inspiring others; and the Blood Center of Iowa recognition for vital contribution for donating over 19 gallons of blood.

He was a head usher at Holy Trinity Church for many years before his health failed this year.

He is survived by his son, Tom (Nancy) Powers of Indian Harbour Beach, FL; daughters, Ro Powers of Chicago, IL and Katie Nelson of West Des Moines; grandchildren, Nick (Betsy) Nelson of Carlisle, Kris Nelson of West Des Moines and Lauren (Dave) Nelson of Danville, VA; and one great-granddaughter, Morgan Nelson of Carlisle. Gene was preceded in death by his wife, Marie; parents, Fred and Zora; and brothers and sisters; Ralph, Willard, Loren, Frank, Fred, Ruth, and Lois.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, at Iles Funeral Homes – Westover Chapel in Des Moines, where a parish Rosary Service will begin at 8 p.m. Memorial Contributions may be directed to Kavanagh House, 900 56th Street, Des Moines.





Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Thursday, May 15, 2008
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Holy Trinity Catholic Church
2926 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Friday, May 16, 2008
10:00 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Friday, May 16, 2008