William J. Powers, Jr. – Commander, United States Navy

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Commander William J. Powers, Jr., United States Navy, retired, was laid to rest Wednesday morning with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Jim Meyer of Halbritter Funeral Home and his wife accompanied Powers' body to Arlington, where a caisson, pulled by horses, brought the casket to the burial site.

Military Honors included the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard, with music by the United States Navy Band, under the direction of Chief Gray, director.

Officiating was Lieutenant Ronald Nordan, Chaplain, United States Navy.

Powers, Jr., of Sassafras Lane, Niles, Michigan, died at age 86, at 10:40 p.m. Saturday, August 4, 2007, at Buchanan Meadows Living Center, Buchanan, following a brief illness.

His wife Evelyn W. Weber Powers and other family members were present at the ceremony.

Washington D.C. was where Powers was born on August 27, 1920, and where he married. They would have celebrated their 65th anniversary this December 2.

He earned both A.B. and M.A. degrees in economics from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. He lived in Niles since 1968, coming from Battle Creek.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on March 12, 1942 and was commissioned as an officer on November 16, 1942. He was a veteran of World War II, serving as a naval Aviator, including two tours of duty in the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign. He was also a veteran of the Korean Conflict.

After 12 years of active duty, he was transferred to the U.S. Navy Reserve from which he retired in 1980.

Powers also served as an economist to the Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C. He came to the Clark Equipment Company in Buchanan as its corporate economist, retiring in 1980.

Powers attended Trinity Episcopal Church in Niles. He was a member and past president of the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce and was active in the Greater Niles Economic Development Foundation (GNEDF), which is now the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance (SMEGA).

Powers was an active supporter of the City of Niles Charter Commission and was a member of the National Association of Business Economists (N.A.B.E.)

Also surviving Powers are his children, John William “Jack” Powers of Zephyrhills, Florida, the Rev. Dr. Edward Winship “Ted” (Ann) Powers of Woodridge, Illinois, William Lewis “Bill” (Sherry) Powers of Adelphi, Maryland, and Evelyn Irene “Lyn” (Andy) Stegemiller of North Liberty, Indiana, and seven grandchildren.

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