Powers Coat of Arms Paul Benjamin Powers

BORN: JAN 12 1938 - Pineville, W. Va.
MARRIED: Elaine Frances Knosalla, AUG 29 1959 - Portland, Ore.
MARRIED: Stella May Bennett
MARRIED: Margaret Anne, JUN 15 1996

Paul Powers with family in Togo, Minn., around 1950

Paul Powers (extreme lower right) with family in Togo, Minn., around 1950. From l-r, back row: Wesley, Charlie (dad), Rena, Naomi (mom), Ruby and Ruth. From l-r, front row: Aaron, Reba and Paul.

Paul was born in Pineville, W. Virginia on Jan. 12, 1938 at home alongside a river. It was a homemade house on wheels built during the Depression out of whatever materials could be found. It was used for sleeping inside at night, and the family lived outside during the day. Clothes were washed on a washboard using water hauled up from a nearby river.

His father had two families composed of nine boys and five girls. His father's first wife was Susan Lawson, and his second wife was Naomi Money.

Childhood memories included the places the family lived, grandparents, and uncles and aunts mostly from his mother's side. He remembers first grade, and remembers learning how to write. His teachers were good to him. Dad took him fishing with worms for red eye in the Tug River, or one of its tributaries. His legs were shorter than his dad's, and he had a hard time keeping up. They came upon a big rock, and Paul said, "What a yock, what a yock!" His Dad thought that was so cute, he picked him up onto his shoulders and carried him for awhile.

Paul Powers 17 years old with a cat

Paul, 17 years old, with a cat.

One of his earliest memories, from when he was about eight years old, is of his family going to his grandparent's house in West Virginia during hunting season. He remembers going for an outing with his uncles and half brothers in the mountains. It was the first outing he remembers, and he wasn't sure if it was a hunting trip, or if the boys were just planning on spending the night on top of the mountain. At any rate, he would have been too young to carry a gun himself. The boys met up with a ventriquilist coming down from the mountain, and he performed a few tricks for them. It rained at night, and it was cold and wet. He remembers the group returning home early, and playing guitar and singing ribald songs until late at night.

Paul felt secure in his childhood and had plenty of family around. He played a lot with his older brother Wesley. He remembers his dad as a builder. He built, among other things, houses for the family, things out of rock, a water retaining device, and an open pit well down the hill for the family. Paul remembers his dad building a mechanism that brought the well bucket up filled with water, then tipped the bucket to pour out the water to be carried to the house.

Paul Powers as a high school student in 1956

Paul Powers as a high school student in Togo, Minn., in 1956

Because there was no preschool or kindergarten, Paul started school in first grade when he was seven years old. He stayed in West Virginia until the fourth grade when the family moved to Togo, Minnesota. His dad and mom respected formal education and viewed school as a privilege. If a child was able to go to school, then they should go. However, through the Depression era the family needed everyone to work to help make ends meet, and this prevented many of his siblings from attending school. Out of the nine boys, he was the first one to graduate from high school, and he was the second out of all the 14 children. His mom bought a brown suitcase for a graduation present, and Paul carried it throughout his subsequent career in the Navy.

Paul didn't date in high school, but he did drive his own car, a 1939 DeSoto, to the prom. The prom was held at the house of the school's freshman English teacher. Paul remembers this teacher as being a humanitarian, who worked a lot with the Native Americans from the Red Lake area.

Once out of high school, Paul went into the Navy because of the opportunities it offered, and on the recommendation of a teacher. The Selective Service draft was in effect during these post-Korea War times. He took a battery of vocational tests and qualified for the electronics field with an election for the communications branch of the Navy, although he knew little about electronics at the time. He was familar with radio, television was new back then, and the transistor was a new technology that was just coming out. He signed up for a four year enlistment, which guaranteed him a school, and went to train as an electronics technician at the Great Lakes, Ill., Navy "A" school. Following "A" school, Paul was assigned to his first ship, the USS Merrick (AKA-97).

Paul Powers aboard the USS Saratoga in 1971

Paul Powers aboard the USS Saratoga in 1971

While on the USS Merrick, he visited Portland during the Rose Festival in August 1959. He met his first wife, Elaine (Knosalla) Powers, at a USO dance and married her that same month, and they settled in Seal Beach, Calif. His four years was involuntarily extended an additional four months because of Cold War crises leading to the Cuban missile crisis. In January 1961, Paul briefly left the Navy, but went back in August 1961, just before Elaine was due to deliver their first child. Later on that month, their first son, Charles Henry, was born on their second wedding anniversary (Aug. 29, 1961). Paul felt that a return to a Navy career was necessary as a means to raise a family. It represented a stable source of income and good benefits, including medical benefits.

After the Cuban missile crisis, Paul was assigned to the USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) and worked on communications, radar and other electrical equipment. The USS Iwo Jima was unique in that it was the first carrier built from the keel up as a helicopter carrier. He saw sea duty during the Vietnam War while on the USS Iwo Jima, and was in the Gulf of Tonkin when word was received that President Kennedy had been assassinated. The family lived in National City, Calif., for awhile where a second son was born, Kevin James, on Jan. 20, 1963, then moved to Chula Vista, Calif., where they lived until January 1965.

Paul Powers with Navy jets aboard the USS Saratoga in 1971

Paul Powers on a hanger deck aboard the USS Saratoga in 1971 with Navy jets in the background.

After moving to Komandorski Village near Camp Parks, in Pleasanton, Calif., their first daughter, Dorine Janet, was born on Feb. 8, 1965. A second daughter, Benita Lynn, was born on March 27, 1966. While in Pleasanton, Paul attended electronics technician "B" school at Treasure Island, then went to Glenco, Georgia for advanced training on the analog version of an automated aircraft landing system. He was then assigned to the USS Oriskany (CVA-34). The USS Oriskany was the oldest Navy carrier ship in the fleet at the time, and the last one to have a wooden flight deck. The USS Oriskinay was in the South China Seas when the USS Forestall blew up, and assisted in those rescue operations. Paul saw tours of duty in the Vietnam combat zone, and remembers watching the lights of bombs going off over the land.

The family traveled cross country in their station wagon during the first few months of 1968 when Paul was assigned to his first shore duty at NAS (Naval Air Station) Cecil Field, in Jacksonville, Fla. While at Cecil Field, Paul maintained the training facility's AWCLS (All Weather Carrier Landing System) equipment. His family continued to grow, with the remaining three children born in Florida: Cynthia Rae (Oct. 6, 1968), Elena Rose Marie (Sep. 6, 1970) and Paul Benjamin, Jr. (Oct. 17, 1972). Tragically, Cynthia passed away of spinal menigitis at five months old. Paul's growing family created some financial pressures, and he found himself holding four jobs at one time (Navy, MacDonald's restaurant manager, gas station attendant and TV repairman).

Radar tower at NAS Oceana that Paul Powers supervised the installation of in 1977

VCAPES radar tower at NAS Oceana, the installation of which in 1977 was the capstone project to Paul Powers' Navy career. The tower is 110 feet in height, not including the dome.

Paul's shore duty would last just over two years before he was assigned to the USS Saratoga (CVA-60). The family lived briefly in Mayport, Fla. while Paul attended electronics technician "C" school. While on the USS Saratoga, Paul achieved his highest rank, that of a Chief Petty Officer (E-7). He served as the radar supervisor, which included a wide variety of electronic subsystems, and was aboard when the USS Saratoga stood by in the Mediterranean during an outbreak of war in the early 1970s between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Life at sea aboard a Navy ship was pretty regimented and routine for Paul. Time was divided among work, meals, training and standing watch. For relaxation, Paul would sometimes catch a movie in the evening, or strum on his guitar. During ports of call, Paul would sometimes go out with a couple of buddies, stroll around the streets and hit a few of the tourist sights. He didn't take any of the organized tours for sailors, and didn't drink much, nor was he much into shopping at the military Exchanges (a favorite shore leave activity), instead saving his money for his family back home.

In the summer of 1974, the family moved to Virginia Beach, Va., where Paul was stationed for his second shore duty at NAS Oceana. While at NAS Oceana, Paul was the radar maintenance supervisor for the Radar Air Traffic Control Center (RATC) #13 facility at the naval air station. RATC 13 included such electronic equipment as radar, meteorology, mobile communications, the air traffic control tower, navigational and air traffic identification equipment. His last big capstone project was to supervise the installation of VCAPES, a key radar installation that functions as part of a search surveillance system for the Virginia Capes area (Cape Hatteras). He retired on July 25, 1978 with a Navy career that spanned twenty years.

After completing active duty, Paul and his family loaded up their belongings and traveled cross country from Virginia to settle in the Portland, Oregon, metro area, where Paul and Elaine had originally met. Both Elaine and Paul had family in the Pacific Northwest, and Paul felt he had more job opportunities available in the area. Paul did local contracting work as a general handyman, and bought a house in Milwaukie, Ore., in September 1979. He lived there for almost three years before separating from Elaine.

Paul Powers relaxing in an easy chair with a Pomerian dog.

Paul Powers relaxing in an easy chair with a Pomerian dog in Puyallup, Wash., around 1984.

Paul moved to Huntington, Ore., where his brother Frank was living, and lived there for almost two years, taking short-term contracting work like wiring houses and picking fruit. Paul went to Carson City, Nev., to stand up for a niece getting married, and ended up moving there in January 1983. Paul's divorce from Elaine was finalized on May 7, 1983.

Paul's second wife was Stella May (Bennett) Powers, whom he met in Carson City, Nevada. They moved to Washington in August 1983, and settled in Puyallup in 1985, where they were shortly married. Paul worked in the Bremerton shipyards as a journeyman electrician, and the couple cared for a menagerie of farm animals on 15 acres in Puyallup before moving to Buckley, Wash., in 1990. The couple loved dogs, and Stella raised A.K.C. registered Pomeranian dogs as a supplemental source of income. Stella suffered from heart problems, and died on May 7, 1995, during a heart bypass operation. She was 54 years old.

Paul Powers taking a call while on the miniature golf course in 2003

Paul Powers taking a call while on the miniature golf course in 2003.

Paul met his third wife, Margaret, through her son, Bill. Bill told his mother that Paul wanted to meet her, and, unbeknowest to her, independently told Paul that she wanted to meet him. With her two adult children as chaperones, Margaret finally met Paul for dinner, and they began dating. They married on June 15, 1996 after dating for three months. The couple are both currently retired and enjoy traveling in their motor home to new places and visiting family.


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                                                    /-- Walter Powers (b. c. 1639)
                                             /--- Jacob Powers (b. DEC 15 1679-Littleton, Mass.)
                                             |      |
                                             |      |           /-- Isaac Shepard
                                             |      |           |
                                             |      |     /-- Deacon Ralph Shepard (b. JUN 3 1606-London, England)
                                             |      |     |
                                             |      \-- Trial Shepard (b. FEB 10 1641-Weymouth, Norfolk, Mass.)
                                             |            |
                                             |            |           /-- Richard Lord
                                             |            |           |
                                             |            |     /-- Thomas Lord (b. c. 1585-Towchester, England)
                                             |            |     |     |
                                             |            |     |     \-- Joan (Lord)
                                             |            |     |
                                             |            \-- Thanks Ye The Lord (b. c. 1612-London, England)
                                             |                  |
                                             |                  \-- Dorothy Bird (b. MAY 25 1588-Towchester, England)
                                      /--- Jonas Powers, Sr. (b. JUL 19 1719-Littleton, Mass.)
                                      |      |
                                      |      |           /-- Thomas Adams
                                      |      |           |
                                      |      |     /-- Jonathan Adams (b. JUN 6 1646-Concord, Mass.)
                                      |      |     |     |
                                      |      |     |     \-- Mary Blackmore
                                      |      |     |
                                      |      \-- Edith Gould Adams (b. DEC 1 1683)
                                      |            |
                                      |            |     /-- Francis Gould
                                      |            |     |
                                      |            \-- Leah Gould
                                      |                  |
                                      |                  \-- Rose (Gould)
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                                /-- Jonas Powers, Jr. (b. JUN 13 1742)
                                |     |
                                |     \-- Mary Tryon
                          /-- Jonas Harmon Powers (b. c. 1778-Vermont)
                          |     |
                          |     |     /-- Reuben Harmon
                          |     |     |
                          |     \-- Jerusha Harmon
                          |           |
                          |           \-- Eunice Parsons
                    /-- Forrest Meaker Powers (b. SEP 24 1794-Scott Co., Va.)
                    |     |
                    |     \-- Lucy Sperry (b. c. 1773)
              /-- George Washington Powers (b. DEC 1831-Scott Co., Va.)
              |     |
              |     |           /-- James Alley
              |     |           |
              |     |     /-- Thomas Joseph Alley (b. c. 1755-Henrico Co., Va.)
              |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     \-- Frances (Alley)
              |     |     |
              |     \-- Mary (Polly) Alley (b. c. 1795)
              |           |
              |           \-- Mary (Alley)
        /-- Henry Hobart Powers (b. OCT 27 1861-Brestonbury, Ky.)
        |     |
        |     |     /-- James Kennedy (b. c. 1795-New York)
        |     |     |
        |     \-- Catherine Kennedy (b. MAR 1832-Grayson Co., Va.)
        |           |
        |           \-- Elizabeth Martin (b. Grayson Co., Va.)

 1 |  2   |  3   |  4   |  5   |  6   |  7   |  8   |  9  | 10  | 11  | 12  |

  /-- Charles Wesley Powers (b. SEP 1 1893-Whitesburg, Ky.)
  |     |
  |     |                 /-- Mary (Polly) Bevins (b. c. 1796)
  |     |                 |
  |     |           /-- George Washington Bevins (b. c. 1822, Virginia)
  |     |           |     |
  |     |           |     \-- Abraham Compton
  |     |           |
  |     |     /-- Charles (Dick) Wesley Bevins (b. MAR 1849-Russell County, Va.)
  |     |     |     |
  |     |     |     |     /-- Emanuel Hutchinson
  |     |     |     |     |
  |     |     |     \-- Elizabeth Hutchinson (b. c. 1828, Virginia)
  |     |     |           |
  |     |     |           \-- Nancy Carter
  |     |     |
  |     \-- Ida Belle Bevins (b. NOV 7 1872-Wise County, Va.)
  |           |
  |           |           /-- Rawley Duncan Stallard
  |           |           |
  |           |     /-- Duncan Alan Stallard (b. JAN 11 1815, Clinch River, Scott Co., Va.)
  |           |     |     |
  |           |     |     \-- Mary Elizabeth Hutchinson
  |           |     |
  |           \-- Mary Louisa Stallard (b. NOV 1852-Russell County, Va.)
  |                 |
  |                 |     /-- Tandy Welch
  |                 |     |
  |                 \-- Mary Elizabeth Addington (b. APR 5 1818, Virginia)
  |                       |
  |                       \-- Margaret Addington
Paul Benjamin Powers (b. JAN 12 1938-Pineville, W. Virginia)
  \--- Naomi Ruth Money (b. MAY 24 1913-Cripple Creek, Wythe County, Va.)


       Charles Henry Powers                     Born:  AUG 29 1961 Long Beach, Calif.
         | Benjamin Patrick Powers              Born:  MAR 26 1989 Leiderdorp, Holland
         | Suzanne Elaine Powers                Born:   MAY 3 1992 Clackamas, Ore.
		 |   |   | Johnathan Charles Powers     Born:  SEP 21 2010 Clackamas, Ore.
       Kevin James Powers                       Born:  JAN 20 1963 National City, Calif.
         | Patrick Daniel Powers                Born:  NOV 21 1985 Portland, Ore.
         | Jennifer Carmen Powers               Born:   JUN 3 1988 Bad Kissingen, Germany
         | Melissa Stephanie Powers             Born:  JAN 26 1991 Bad Neustadt, Germany
         | Natasha Powers                       Born:  SEP 30 1996 Bad Brueckenau, Germany
       Dorine Jeanette Powers                   Born:   FEB 8 1965 Pleasanton, Calif.
         | Rachael Cherie Sorrels               Born:  NOV 24 1994 Portland, Ore.
         |   |   | Landon Michael Foster        Born:  FEB 28 2016 Oregon City, Ore.
       Benita Lynn Powers                       Born:  MAR 27 1966 Pleasanton, Calif.
       Cynthia Rae Powers                       Born:   OCT 6 1968 Jacksonville, Fla.
       Elena Rose Marie Powers                  Born:   SEP 6 1970 Jacksonville, Fla.
       Paul Benjamin Powers, Jr.                Born:  OCT 17 1972 Jacksonville, Fla.
         |   |   |
         |   |  GREAT GRAND CHILDREN
         |  GRAND CHILDREN

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