Cover photo for James H. Powers's Obituary
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1938 James 2009

James H. Powers

April 14, 1938 — March 23, 2009

James H. (Jim) Powers died on March 23, 2009 at the age of 70, after a long battle with lung disease. He had lovingly been cared for by his wife, children and other family members who were with him when he died. Jim was born April 14, 1938 in Milwaukee, WI to parents Harold and Gertrude (OKeefe) Powers. He married Elizabeth Abel in Rockford on August 19, 1961. He graduated from St. Thomas High School in Rockford . He earned a Bachelors degree from John Carroll University, a Masters degree in computer sciences from the University of Georgia; graduated from US Army Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth KS. and the US Army War College in Carlisle, PA. He served in the US Army for 25 years, retiring in the rank of Colonel. Assignments included Germany, two tours in Vietnam, the Pentagon and the Faculty of the US Army War College. Awards include the Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal three times; the first while a Major serving in Vietnam. Jim served on the City of Rockford Public Works staff from 1988 until 1999 as Superintendent of Property and Equipment. Jim was devoted to his Catholic faith and was an active member of St. Bernadette Catholic Church. He was active with many organizations, including: founding member, Deputy Director and webmaster of NoGraf Anti-Graffiti Network, Past President and webmaster of Rock Valley Kiwanis Club, founding member, former Board Member, and webmaster of Greater Rockford Transportation Coalition (GRTC), twice President and webmaster of North End Square Neighborhood Association, founding member of Neighborhood Network, special assistant to Mayor Morrissey, City of Rockford, May-August, 2005, Chairman, Board of Fire amp; Police Commissioners, City of Rockford, August 2005-August 2006. Jim Powers attitude toward life is exemplified by the Winston Churchill quote, I never worry about action, but only about inaction. Jim is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Powers, Rockford; children, Julia (John) Wade, Winnebago, IL, James (Robin) Powers, Jr., Waynesboro, Virginia, Jessica Newton, Rockford, Joseph (Kathy) Powers, Herndon, VA, Jerome (Andrea) Powers, Evanston and Joanna (Jerry Caiafa) Powers, Chicago; grandchildren, Samuel, Maura and Katie Elliott, Joshua, Cameron, Ryan and Isabella Powers, Jacquelyne Jasinski, Natalie and Matthew Newton, Kelsey, Robert and Andrew Powers and Eva Powers-Caiafa. Also survived by his great-grandchild, Lexianna Jasinski; brother, Thomas (Kathleen) Powers; cousin, Robert (Joan) OKeefe, numerous nieces, nephews and other family members. Predeceased by his mother, Gertrude Powers, father, Harold Powers and brother, John Powers. Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 27, 2009 in St. Bernadette Catholic Church. Burial in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will begin with a Christian Wake Service at 3:30 p.m. and will continue from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday in Fitzgerald Funeral Home amp; Crematory, Mulford Chapel, 1860 S. Mulford Rd. Visitation also from 9:00 a.m. until 9:45 a.m. on Friday in the church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to PAWS Humane Society, 5747 Knollwood Road, Rockford, IL 61107; Catholic Charities (designate pantry or childrens programs), 1536 S. Main, Rockford, IL. 61102 or Rockford Rescue Mission, PO Box 1958 Rockford, IL. 61101. Condolences and memories may be made to the family at www.fitzgeraldfh.com.

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