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In Memoriam ~ Charles “Chuck” Powers ’47

Charles “Chuck Powers ’47  
Charles James Powers was born on January 4, 1928 in Jamestown, North Dakota and passed away in Spokane, Washington on December 5, 2022, just shy of his 95th birthday. Chuck grew up in LaMoure, North Dakota and was the only son of Albert E. and Pearl Powers. His beloved sisters Catherine Howard, Genevieve Klatt, and Jeanne Muir all predeceased him. He was “the best big brother ever” to his cherished little sister Colleen Thompson.

A lifelong athlete, Chuck began playing high school varsity football while in middle school. His athletic prowess and possible vocation for the priesthood led him to move away at age 14 to attend St. John’s Preparatory School in Minnesota, where he continued making headlines as a star varsity athlete. In the summers he worked long, hot days on the railroad, as a ranch hand, or helping with harvest.

At 17 years old, Chuck enlisted in the US Navy. After the war, he returned to St. John’s University where he met St. Cloud nursing student Theresa Mack. Chuck and Theresa married and relocated to Kennewick, WA where Chuck began working as a lineman for the Franklin County PUD. Fifty years later, Chuck retired from the PUD, having worked himself up to Chief Electrical Engineer.

Together, Chuck and Theresa raised six children in the Tri-Cities. Chuck served as a Boy Scout Master for 30 years, fished and hunted with his buddies, tended an amazing garden, baked cookies and pies, danced a mean polka, and delighted his family with his crooning of classics, often with hilariously wrong words.

At age 60, Chuck took up downhill skiing and was known as “The Silver Bullet” because he liked to go fast. He later moved to Packwood, WA where he skied as many mornings as his age each year, golfed in the afternoons, and hiked on the weekends. For his 80th birthday, his family joined him at White Pass, where he snowboarded with his grandchildren. In his last 35 years, Chuck was fully committed to staying connected with his extended family, sending a card and check for each person’s birthday and always being present for both happy and hard family events. He loved his family, and they knew it.

Chuck was proud to be 100% Irish, gave thanks for 35 years of sobriety in August, and ate at least a pound of Green Apple Jolly Ranchers each week until his death.

Chuck is survived by his sister and lifelong buddy Colleen Thompson; his daughter Maureen (Dave) Tighe and grandchildren Ryan, Jason, Heather, and Paige; daughter Pamela (Jeff) Toffer and grandchildren Derek, Jared, and Katie; son Kevin (Lonna) Powers and grandchildren Adam, John, and Ryan; daughter Peggy Warren and grandchildren Joshua and Christopher; daughter Laurie Powers (Breean Beggs) and grandchildren Carter, Bridget, and Fiona; and son Jeffrey (Kathleen) Powers and grandchildren Madison and Nicholas. He also loved his 19 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandson, and many nieces and nephews.

The Rosary will be on Thursday, December 29, 2022 at 10:30 am at Gonzaga University Student Chapel, 3rd floor of College Hall, with Funeral Mass and burial immediately following. In lieu of flowers, tip your server generously. Chuck always did. Chuck’s online memorial page can be found at