Joan L. Powell, obituary

Posted:  Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 3:00pm

ROCKLAND – Joan L. Powell, 89, died peacefully following an extended illness, Friday, November 10, 2017 at the Sussman House in Rockport.  

Born in Rockland, August 20, 1928, she was the daughter of Chester and Phyllis Whitehill Hunt.  Educated locally, she was a 1946 graduate of Rockland High School.  

While still in high school, Joan went to work for the Extension Service and later accepted the position as the County Executive Director of Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service of Knox and Lincoln County, a division of the US Department of Agriculture.  As one of the first woman in this role, Joan served through nine presidential administrations, from Truman to George Bush, Sr.  Her daughter remembered Joan going to work in a skirt and high heel shoes, only to put on her muck boots to go out on farm inspections throughout the day.  

On June 18, 1950, Joan married Walter J. Powell at Pratt Memorial Methodist Church in Rockland.  The pair were married for 21 years before Mr. Powell died unexpectedly in 1971 at the age of 44.  Always determined, Joan continued her working career while raising her daughter.  She officially retired in 1989.  Her daughter remembers her mom as a great role model, someone who was very intelligent, business minded, and a go-getter, while always friendly and caring at the same time.  Over the years Joan served as caregiver for her own parents and many aunts and uncles in their last days.  

When not working, Joan loved to travel.  She took many bus tours with her church and especially enjoyed the trips to the Amish Country in Pennsylvania as well as New Orleans where the music touched her soul.  In 1992, she was pleased to have taken tour through Europe with her dear friend, Mrs. Daily, and traveled to Aruba in 2005 with her daughter.  

Music was an integral part of Joan’s life, especially choral music.  For decades she was a member of the Rockland Congregational Church choir and was one of the original members of the Down East Singers.  Serving on their board for many years, she also served as the group’s historian and participated in their recording of the ‘Liturgy of St. John’.  She was even able to combine her love of traveling and singing, while on several tours with the Down East Singers all over the country.   

Joan had a special place in her heart for animals, especially her two black cats, ‘Smoki and Abby’.  

Predeceased by her parents, her husband Walter, and a brother Clifton E. Hunt of South Portland; Joan is survived by her daughter, Cynthia Powell, and her partner, Lance Gosse of Rockland; her brothers-in-law, Patrick Powell and his wife, Marie; Douglas Powell, John Powell and his wife, Annette; sisters-in-law, Arvilla Collins and her husband, Michael; Beulah Tweedie and Helen Wall; her very good friends Linda and Jimmy Murray, of Rockport; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.  

Joan’s daughter would like to extend a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to the caring and compassionate staff at Windward Gardens, Pen Bay Medical Center and the Sussman House for the outstanding care her mother received.  

Family and friends are invited to visit from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, November 17, 2017 at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.  Private interment will be held at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, Maine 04841.  

To share a memory or condolence with Joan’s family, please visit their Book of Memories at