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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Olen J. Powell

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Born 6-19-1917 -- Died 3-12-2005

Olen J. Powell, died March 12, 2005. He was born June 19, 1917, in Fulton County, Ark. He was the fourth son of eleven children born to Oscar Joshua and Rose Etta Martin Powell.

At age 15 he joined the CCC, working on projects in several states, including Grand Teton National Park and Pinnacles State Park in California.

In December 1941, he met Pauline Massey and they were married June 13, 1942. For the next three years, he served in the United States Air Force with the 14th Air Force 375th Bomb Squadron #308th Bomb Group in the China Burma Theater, during World War II. He was a staff sergeant. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star. Powell was discharged in 1945.

Olen and Pauline Powell settled in Michigan after the war. In 1946, their only daughter, Janet, was born in Pontiac, Mich.

In 1947, the family moved to Stockton, Calif., where in 1948, Olen started with Stockton Unified School District. In 1949, he was promoted to head custodian. In 1957, he opened the brand new John C. Fremont High School. He always joked that the general contractor handed him a box with several hundred keys, none marked, and said good luck. He served under several administrations and was honored by students on his retirement in 1982.

In retirement, he enjoyed walking, and stopping off to visit with friends. He also made many friends while exercising and swimming at Hutchins Street Square in Lodi.

The Powells were married for 54 years until her passing in 1996. Olen was preceded in death by his parents -- Oscar and Rose Etta; three brothers -- Roy, Marvin and Arvy Powell; two sisters -- Hattie Geib and Gladys Godwin

He is survived by his daughter, Janet, and her husband, Martin Jones; three sisters -- Clara Hopkins of Springfield, Mo., Bertha Milsap of Merriam, Kan., and Iva Smith of Mammoth Spring, Ark.; and a brother-in-law, Sam Massey of Victorville, Calif.; and many nieces and nephews in Arkansas, California, Georgia, Michigan and Missouri.

The funeral service was March 16 with the Rev. Wayne W. Folmer of Horizon Christian Fellowship in Stockton, Calif., officating. Committal was in Cherokee Memorial Park Court of Valor.