Cover photo for Jerry W. Powell's Obituary
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1959 Jerry 2023

Jerry W. Powell

October 10, 1959 — August 14, 2023

Jerry W. Powell, 63, of Worcester, MA, passed away at home on August 14 surrounded by his family after a brave and valiant two-year battle with Liposarcoma. Jerry was born in Raleigh, NC to Junius Robert and Janie (Harding) Powell who predeceased him. Jerry leaves behind his loving wife and best friend of 38 years, Lynnel Reed-Powell, two cherished sons, Reed A. and Jackson J. Powell, two adored grandsons Reed Jr. (RJ) and Lincoln, his Mother-in-law, Rev. Dr. Catherine H. Reed, Brother/Sister-in-law Bruce and Lynn Reed, and Gavin Hazard Johnson, who Jerry considered his third son, all of Worcester. He also leaves behind his beloved siblings Walter and his wife Zelinda Powell, Robert Powell, and Hazel Thomas all of Virginia. He was predeceased by a sister, Sadie Smith. Jerry leaves a large loving family in Virginia, as well as a host of extended family and friends in Massachusetts. 

Jerry graduated from Greenville County High School in Emporia, VA where he played football and basketball. In 1978 Jerry enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in Korea and California. Towards the end of his military career, he was stationed at Fort Devens in Massachusetts. It was during this time he met his soulmate, Lynnel, a.k.a Kim. They fell in love, married, settled in Worcester, and soon started a family. The consummate dad and dedicated family man, Jerry attended every one of his son’s sporting events, often as their coach. His devotion did not stop with his own children, as he took many others under his wing. 

Jerry worked for St. Gobain Inc./CoorsTek in Worcester for more than 30 years; he retired in 2021 due to illness. Jerry enjoyed a long career as a basketball referee. He was a 20 year member of IAABO Board #26, and served six years as a member of its executive board. The black and white stripes he wore proudly were in his blood, and he loved encouraging and mentoring others into the profession. 

Jerry was an avid sports fan. He enjoyed boxing, football (New England Patriots), baseball (New York Yankees) and was a die-hard fan of the Chicago Bulls. Jerry also enjoyed fishing, playing cornhole and traveling with friends and family. He loved music, especially jazz and enjoyed playing the piano. Jerry loved to drive and was meticulous about his vehicles. 

Jerry was faithful and faith-filled. As a former member of St. Andrews Methodist Church, he sang in the men’s choir and occasionally delivered sermons. Jerry was a current member of John Street Baptist Church in Worcester, where he volunteered for the soup kitchen, landscaping and many other programs. His faith guided him throughout his life, and helped him navigate his illness. His megawatt smile lit up every room he entered. Jerry was known and loved by many, and will be sorely missed.

A funeral service on Saturday, August 26 will be private. All are welcome to join the family for a Celebration of Life at Chester P. Tuttle Post 279, 88 Bancroft St., Auburn, MA. A time to offer condolences begins promptly at 12:00 pm followed by a short program celebrating Jerry’s life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jerry’s honor to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave., Boston MA 02215.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerry W. Powell, please visit our flower store.

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