Donald Novis Powell (Pop-Pop), beloved husband, father, brother and uncle, passed away on November 1, 2023
Donald Novis Powell was the 7th child born to William E. Powell Sr. and Edna L. (Williams) Powell on June 19, 1933, in Cumberland, Maryland, where he spent his childhood years. He was one of 11 children, six boys and five girls. He graduated from Carver High School in 1952 before attending Morgan State College, where he graduated in 1956 with a Bachelor’s degree in Science Education. It was there that he met the love of his life, Rosie L. (Taylor) Powell. He was so smitten with her that shortly after they started dating, he confidently stated that he would marry her one day. On August 25, 1957, the two were married and went on to share 66 blissful years together. They soon welcomed son Les in 1958, followed by daughter Ruth in 1962.
Upon graduating college, he began an illustrious military career when he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps on October 2, 1956. Over the course of his career, Donald completed tours of duty in Vietnam and Germany, acquired his Masters in Business Administration in 1970, and commanded over 2000 troops when he was just 35 years old, becoming the first African American officer selected as commander of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He retired from the Army on October 31, 1986, finishing his highly decorated military career with the rank of Colonel after 30 years of dedicated, selfless service.
After serving his country, Donald joined the Community Praise Center (CPC) Church. It did not take long for him to get involved in many roles at the church. He served as an assistant head deacon, was a member of the church board, sang with the choir, assisted with the Pathfinders Youth Club and Vacation Bible School, and used his brilliant artistic painting talent to make props for holiday plays and programs, just to name a few. He was always there to assist the church in any way he could. He was the first to arrive at church and often the last to leave. For over 35 years, he served with humility, diligence, dedication, and a joyful heart. Donald was affectionately called “Pop-Pop” by many and was like a brother for some, a father figure for many, a grandfather for others, and a friend to all. If CPC had a hall of fame, he would certainly be in it.
In addition to the military, church, and his family, Donald had other passions as well. He enjoyed painting, gardening, grilling (even in the snow) and watching the Washington Redskins play, no matter how many times they broke his heart.
He cared so deeply for the people around him. He was resilient, dedicated, and gave his all to everything he did. He made a positive impact on many lives and will be forever missed.
Donald is survived by his loving wife Rosie, son Les Powell (Doris), daughter Ruth Carpenter, twin brother Ronald Powell, as well as grandchildren Darren Powell (Gabrielle), Jason Powell, Phillip Carpenter, Rebekah Carpenter, Naomi Carpenter, Priscilla Lockhart (LaQuint), Tabitha Carpenter, Jonathan Carpenter and 7 great-grandchildren and many nephews and nieces and a host of family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents William E. Powell Sr. and Edna L. (Williams) Powell, brothers William Powell Jr., Jack Powell, Robert Powell, John Powell, and sisters Maxine Kent, Audrey Powell, Evelyn Powell, Brenda Gurganus, and Barbara Clay.