Neal Kay Powell, 76, of Blackfoot died Friday, March 18, 2011, at his home surrounded by his family.
He was born March 3, 1935, in Moscow, the only son of George H. And Genevieve Budrow Powell.
Neal spent his younger years growing up in various places while following his father, who was a teacher and soil conservationist for the U.S. government, and his mother, who was a teacher. He attended schools in Salt Lake, Keams Canyon on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona; Fernley, Nev., and Fort Hall. In 1949, his parents returned to Blackfoot and moved into the family home on Tanner Lane. Neal graduated from Blackfoot High School in 1952.
He attended ISU for one year and was active in track. He then transferred to the University of Idaho, graduating in 1957 in chemical engineering. He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and completed the ROTC program there.
On June 15, 1957, he married Diane Bivens in Payette. Over the next year, he and Diane traveled around Texas and New Mexico training in the petroleum fields. He then served two years active duty as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army at Fort McClellan, Ala. During this time he trained and became a licensed private pilot.
After living a year in Bartlesville, Okla., he and Diane moved to Idaho Falls with the Phillips Petroleum Company.
In 1964, they returned to the family ranch on Tanner Lane. Here, Neal raised cattle while working at the AEC, INL and various other contractors. He retired from the government in 1992.
While in Blackfoot, Neal was instrumental in starting Babe Ruth baseball, Little League football and the Junior Jazz basketball program.
He loved to ski, and owned a house in Driggs, where most weekends were spent in the powder at Grand Targhee. Many good memories were had by all there. He was a big booster of Idaho State, Blackfoot Bronco and Skyline athletics. He attended many a football game and most Sundays were spent watching the sport. He and Diane enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S., Mexico, Europe, and the Caribbean.
In his later years, he served on the Blackfoot Rural Library Board, and various water boards. He was a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge and longtime member of BPOE Elks and Jason Lee Memorial United Methodist Church.
Neal is survived by his wife of 53 years, Diane; daughter, Kay Marie Powell of Blackfoot; two sons, Jeffrey Neal (RaeJean) Powell of Blackfoot and Timothy “Gus” (Amy) Powell of Olympia, Wash.; six grandchildren, Jerdanna Stedtfeld, Kaydon Shrum, Jake and Joey Snapp, and Jackson and Mya Powell.
Neal was preceded in death by his parents.
The family would like to thank Blackfoot Hospice and especially Teresa Yupe for their help with care in the final weeks.
A “Celebration of Life” will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at the Jason Lee Memorial United Methodist Church under the direction of Hawker Funeral Home.
The family will meet with friends for one hour prior to the service at the church. A lunch will be held at the church for friends and family following the service.
Interment, with military graveside services, will follow at Grove City Cemetery.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Jason Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, Blackfoot Home Health and Hospice, your favorite charity or memorial scholarship fund.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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