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Lawrence Powell
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Lawrence Powell  

Date of Birth: October 5, 1923
Date of Death: February 18, 1997
Date of Eulogy: February 21, 1997

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Lawrence Powell Photo Gallery

Obituary for Lawrence Powell

Having his cheek pinched by a shipmate in the UK before the 1944 invasion.

Eulogy for my Father
By Mark Powell

We have come here to honor the memory of my father, Lawrence McClellan Powell, "Bunny" Powell.

My father was born October 5th, 1923. Over 73 years ago. He was a loving husband to my mother for over 49 years, a great father, a wonderful grandfather, a caring friend to many, a decorated veteran from World War II, a patriot. Dad was a man that believed in his country, in his family, and, most of all, in God and his son, Jesus Christ.

During the summer of 1994, my mother and I were sitting at our kitchen table having a quiet lunch together with my father. My father never spoke at length about the War and his participation. It was not his nature. He was involved in several major Amphibious Assaults with the Sixth Naval Beach Battalion. The most noted of these was on June 6th, 1944, D-Day. His unit arrived early, before the main invasion. Their task was to clear the beach of all obstacles. His unit sustained great casualties in some of the most intense combat of the war.

As I have previously stated, Dad never talked much about the war, but, on this summer day, he spoke at length about that event. My mother and I were stunned when he described in detail, the carnage and devastation. We were horrified.

At one point in his narrative, I looked at Dad and asked, "Were you Afraid?"

He paused, thought about it for a brief moment and answered, "You know, it is funny, you are afraid for the first 15 minutes and then you 'Do your Job'. We did our job …"

As the years have passed and I have had an opportunity to think about my father's life, this statement is a fitting metaphor for him. "We did our job."

The only addition that should be made: Bunny Powell did his job, with HONOR. For many years my mother has posted a quotation in our house: "Honor is the presence of God in Man." Honor was an important part of my father's life.

His youth was a very difficult and challenging time. During the period from 1941 thru 1943, he lost his mother, a brother, and his father. From that point he entered the U.S. Navy as a Shipfitter. During the War, he received many awards, the most significant being the Croix de Guerre.

When he returned, he went to work on building a great life. He married Betty A. Bussard, "Teedle" in 1947. My brother Larry was born in 1953 and I was born in 1961.

His entire life was one of Devotion. Dad was devoted first to his family. This was embodied by his love for Mom, his willingness to sacrifice for us, including working hard so that we could have a great future. In his working career, Dad worked with his brother Austin as a paperhanger, and then spent 25 years working for the City of Frederick in the Parks Department. For over 31 years, my parents operated an insurance agency for Kemper out of our home.

He gave of himself to our society. As an active member of the Democratic Party, he served in many roles, including a term as the President of the Young Democrats. Dad was also an active member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Dad supported many organizations during his life such as Little League and as a Life Member of the VFW Post 3285.

My father was an exceptional athlete. His Duckpin Bowling career included winning a National Youth Singles Championship in 1941 as a 17 year old. He lead the Blue Ridge League (the Major League) in high average for an unprecedented three years. He won countless individual and team awards. In 1993, Dad was selected to join the Alvin G. Quinn Sports Hall of Fame.

Whatever Dad did, he did it well with devotion and honor. He was always supportive of my brother and I throughout our lives. He was my mother's husband and best friend for over 49 years. With his four grandchildren, Pop-Pop Bunny was awesome. With mussed hair, he was their "Fuddy-Duddy."

The passing of my father is more than his own. It is the passing of an era. An era when our country relied on the individual strengths of men and women of courage, conviction and integrity. They knew their "Jobs".

To understand Bunny you must understand FUN! For 20 out of the past 22 years, we made an annual pilgrimage to Pimlico for the Preakness. Every year, another crazy story was the result. Last year, we made the trek to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, fulfilling a dream that we had for many years. After spending a 14 hour day on Derby activities, his "young" son was in bed at 11:00 and the elder returned to the lounge to have cocktails and shoot pool with some people, Bunny had met earlier that day. I think he came to the room at 2:00. I am told that one evening in Mississippi, Dad took a turn at the piano in a restaurant to entertain the crowd. He was doing well, until some patrons made requests. You see, my father never played the piano, and this PLAYER Piano had a limited number of songs.

A Friend once noted that "Bunny was the finest 'After Dinner Speaker' that she had heard." Dad had a sly wit with a Will Rogers-like style. He was FUN!

At this point, we are confronted with two choices, sadness or happiness. I will choose to be happy. I will be happy that my life was so enriched by my father. He touched us all in a special manner that we shall never forget. Role models are difficult to find, he was one. We have been blessed to have shared our lives with him.

His family was his life. It was always first in his thoughts and deeds. Central to this, was the eternal love and friendship that my parents have for each other. This is a love that very few people ever attain. This Love was his being. Mom and our family were his life.

My father understood his various jobs of husband, parent, provider, member of society, patriot, and hero. He performed each of these with honor. He gave a great deal more than he received.

This past Sunday, my father had some brief moments when he was aware of his environment. These were probably his last conscious thoughts. Five times, he stretched his arms out to my mother and they embraced. It took all of his physical reserves to do, but, even to his last, the love that he had for my mother was his only concern. His Job of Husband and Father were his life's work.

When I was younger, someone would look at my name and invariably ask, "Are you Bunny's Boy." With pride, I will always be "Bunny's Boy."




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