A Memorial service will be held Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Memorial United Methodist Church in Harrison, Nebraska with the Reverend George Kilmer officiating. Inurnment will follow the services at the Harrison Cemetery.
Georgia Ashach Powell, at the age of 96, died on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 at the Chadron Community Hospital following a slow decline of health, over the past several months.
Georgia A. Powell was born March 17, 1916 to Tress M. and Edith (Collamore) Powell in Harrison, Nebraska. She grew up in Harrison and lived most of her life in Harrison. She had one brother William M. Powell of Harrison and one sister Jane Arlene Farnum of Tamworth, New Hampshire.
Georgia attended the Harrison Grade School and graduated from Sioux County High School in 1934. She remained in Harrison where she worked for Abie Whiteaker in his clothing store and for her father Tress, in the Hardware Store. When her brother Bill graduated from high school in 1937, Georgia and Bill moved to Laramie to attend the University of Wyoming. Georgia finished her education at Parks Business College in Denver and remained in Denver, working as a legal secretary. Growing restless and wanting to be closer to her cousins, Georgia moved to Omaha, Nebraska and worked for J.C. Penney’s in their business office. Later, she returned to Denver and accepted a job with Standard Brands. When World War II started, her father Tress encouraged her to return to Harrison to help run Powell Hardware. After the war, her brother Bill returned home from the Army Air Corps and Georgia and Bill Worked together at the Hardware Store with their father.
In 1957, Georgia received her funeral director’s license. She had a great working relationship with the Chamberlain Funeral Home and continued working for the Chamberlain’s in the Harrison community until shortly before her death. Georgia’s distinctive personality, zest of life, knowledge of community history, and compassion for others at a time of loss may have been why she enjoyed being involved in the funeral business, helping others deal with loss.
After 20 years working the hardware store, she decided to open her own business. In 1961, she opened Georgia’s Gift Shop in the old Viele Drug Store building that was located next to the theater building. As her business grew, she relocated to a larger building located across the street from the Corner Market. The social aspect of the business was the best part of retail. Georgia’s Gift Shop became a social gathering place for those interested in the craft’s, a cup of coffee, rounded out the snacks and chitchat. She closed her shop in 1973 so that she could care for her elderly father.
Georgia was a charter member of the Harrison Ladies Community Club, a charter member of the Order of the Eastern Star Sioux Chapter #319 with more than 50 years of active membership. She became a member of the Memorial United Methodist Church as a young child and enjoyed the many activities that revolved around the Church. She was a devoted member of the church for 85 years.
Throughout her life, Georgia was very active in many community projects and activities. Her enthusiasm for the Harrison community never faded and she was never shy about voicing her opinions about how things should be. She had extensive knowledge of the community history and the people who lived there. Many times she was called on to answer questions about Harrison’s past and its people.
She was very pleased with the success of the new museum building and the community’s involvement to make it happen. She often said that being involved in the community was what kept her young at heart, especially if it involved cooking and baking for others. Her neighbors were the recipients of many baked goods and some good chats while snacking at her kitchen table. She loved to entertain and had many friends throughout the country come for an extended stay. Georgia was always ready to go and embrace adventure. She enjoyed traveling throughout the United States visiting friends and her extended family.
Georgia especially enjoyed children and they in turn liked her. Her nieces and nephews and eventually their children benefited from her loved of family. Many summers and holidays were devoted to these families. She made every visit special in some way. He extended family, church and community involvement was Georgia’s life and she lived it right to the end. She led a long and fulfilling life and she did it her way.
Georgia was preceded in death by her parents Tress M and Edith C Powell; one brother, William M. Powell of Harrison and one sister Jane Arlene Farnum of Tamworth, New Hampshire.
She is survived by four nieces, Jane F. Beard of Bellevue, Washington, Ann F. Lambert of Bahama, North Carolina, Donna Jean Bernard of Jefferson, South Dakota, and Jodi Kay Grimm of Mesa, Arizona; three nephews, John M. Powell of Laramie, Wyoming, Walter W. Farnum of Weare, New Hampshire, and William W. Farnum of Tamworth, New Hampshire. She is also survived by six great nieces, ten great nephews, six great-great nieces and 5 great-great nephews.
In Lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to one of the following organizations: Harrison United Methodist Church, Harrison Ambulance fund, the Harrison Fire Department, or the VFW Post #7970 in Harrison. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337.
Online condolences can be made at www.chamberlainchapel.com or mailed to Georgia’s home.
Chamberlain Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
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