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Posted By Whitney & Murphy On July 20, 2015 @ 12:21 pm In Obituary | 6 Comments


The Powers’ patriarch has passed on.  He was our leader, our guide through life.  George put his three children through medical school, serving as mentor for all that is important in medicine and in life. He died at home July 17, 2015 surrounded by his extended family. Born in Little River, Kansas on September 22, 1919, his father, a medical general practitioner died when George was 14.  Along with his mother and sister they survived the depression although it left a lasting mark.  At least in his later years he no longer felt the need to separate the two-ply toilet paper. He met the love of his life, Dorothy, at the University of Kansas, and they married in 1943.  A member of the Greatest Generation, he served in the Navy as a doctor and saw the end of WWII.  After discharge he set up a general practice in Shenandoah, Iowa, where he and Dorothy raised their family. A life changing interlude occurred in 1954 when the Navy called and he was assigned to additional service on Guam.  The family experienced a life radically different from Iowa.  We learned the call of the ocean. In 1970 they left Iowa for Phoenix so George could start a residency in psychiatry.  Phoenix was chosen because of its proximity to the ocean.  George had studied the map and found that the Sea of Cortez was quite accessible. In short order trips to Puerto Penasco followed. His experiences as a boatman are family legends, culminating in a shipwreck on Bird Island (appropriately Isla San Jorge) where he and Dorothy spent their anniversary night along with Jerry and Karen battling for space among the sea lions and various birds that deposited their lice on the unwilling recipients.  He did return to the foundering boat to retrieve his anniversary present for Dorothy. George served as the first medical director for the psychiatric crisis center (psychiatric emergency room) for Maricopa County Medical Center.  His general medical and psychiatric backgrounds served the community well.  George and Dorothy traveled widely, often with family in tow.  We have benefitted from their vision.  The family continues to visit old and new haunts following their example.  There is a large world out there waiting to be enjoyed.  Dorothy passed in 2002 although George let it be known he planned on going first.  Still, he held up, continuing to be a magnet for the family gatherings.  As he approached 96y/o, still living at home, he observed that the very senior golden years and their accumulating infirmities were not all that great.  Yet he carried on in good humor. This in a man who contracted polio from a patient in 1948 and who was sent home from Guam to die when he was found to have an incurable malignancy.  It appears he beat the odds.  He continued living under the specter of imminent demise for 60 years!  He is survived by his children Michael Powers MD, (Linda), Pam Powers MD (Mike Pierce), Jerry Powers MD, (Karen); grandchildren Wendy Borchert (Shane), Megan Galope (Joe), Ryan Powers, Katy Powers MD, John Gallagher (Alison), Meg Plomondon (Dennis); and great-grandchildren Ray and Jeff Borchert.  In gratitude to his caregivers in recent years, especially his ex officio granddaughter and Caregiver in Chief Allison Summerday.  Their kind attention allowed him to remain at home where he enjoyed reading, watching sports on television, awaiting happy hour and reliving the memories of a life well lived.  A private family service will be held -George outlived most of his friends- followed by interment with Dorothy at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.  He will continue to live on in our collective memories.  In lieu of flowers please send donations to Planned Parenthood Arizona, Inc., Administrative Office, PO Box 47240, Phx., AZ 85068 or www.donate@ppaz.org

Condolences for the family of “POWERS, GEORGE HAROLD”

Condolence from Claudia Souza on July 22nd, 2015 7:01 am

Michael, Pam, Jerry and families:

My love for George cannot be expressed in words. My trips to Arizona will never be the same as my first stop was always to Uncle George’s where he always had a special smile for me and anyone that entered his home. He was one of the most balanced people to ever grace my life and his humor and personality will ever stay in my heart. I will always cherish the memories I have had and his beautiful children and extended family. Thank you for sharing him with me.
Claudia Souza

Condolence from Carole Becht on July 22nd, 2015 1:12 pm

It has been a pleasure to have been a friend of George for many years. We have spent many good times together withwith all of his wonderful children, spouses and their children. I will never forget Hre yo knowis smile, humor and loving kindness. He was definitely the kindest man I have had the pleasure to know. May he rest in peace always.

Carole and Richard B

Condolence from JAN & PAUL POLASKY on July 23rd, 2015 10:54 am

Sending our sympathy for the loss of your father Mike. He seemed to have had a very full, beautiful life and know he will be missed by all of you very much. Please know we are thinking about all of you during this time. Paul & Jan

Condolence from Karen Van Epps on July 23rd, 2015 2:02 pm

How lucky–Mike, Pam and Jerry- to have such a wonderful father. I feel blessed to have known him . He lived a full rich life. He set a powerful, positive example.

Condolence from Margot Gee & Jeff Subko on July 28th, 2015 6:51 am

Mike, Pam, & Jerry,

I send heartfelt condolences from the Ken Gee Family. In my mind’s eye, George and Dorothy are forever young, fresh, smart, and engaging. It is a blessing and a balm that they are always with you in memory.

A drive with Jean in Shenandoah the other day took us around Mayridge Drive. Your house is always on the tour itinerary.

Ages ago, after I got my hands on Ken & Jean’s holiday address list for a surprise wedding anniversary project, my husband Jeff & I began exchanging Christmas letters with your Dad. His letters were…different: offering a view of life filled with equal parts reality and humor, and always a personal note. How we looked forward to them.

You are in our thoughts. Margot & Jeff

Condolence from Chuck Morgan on July 29th, 2015 7:09 am

Dear Powers Family-
I was one of the babies Dr. Powers delivered in 1953. My name is Chuck Morgan. Bill and Millie Morgan were my parents who lived on a farm south of Farragut. My aunt, Elizabeth Morgan, worked for your dad at “The Clinic” for many years. I always had fond memories of seeing Dr. Powers as a child. My parents and Elizabeth always thought very highly of your father. I still remember your house on Mayridge Drive as “The Powers House”. How wonderful that he lived such a long life.

Chuck Morgan

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