Obituary Details

Edward James Powers

March 15, 1962 - October 28, 2016

Birthplace & Residence

Information withheld per family request

Viewing

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Mass

Location:
St. Thomas More Catholic Church
Date:
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Service Time:
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Cemetery

Information withheld per family request

Notes

Ed Powers, 54, passed away on October 28th at home in Chapel Hill, N.C., after a year-long fight with brain cancer.

Ed studied animal science at the University of New Hampshire and received his Masters of Education from University of Massachusetts Boston.

For over 20 years, he served at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, a place where he touched many lives, both human and furry. One of his favorite jobs was running their summer camp on Cape Cod, a location dear to Ed’s heart since he had spent summers there throughout childhood. Ed had a vast impact on the welfare of companion animals in America.

Throughout his career, he identified and mentored scores of people who went on to become leaders in the field of animal welfare in their own right. Ed was also committed to helping animals in disasters. He played a lead role in the Hurricane Katrina animal emergency response and personally led an initiative that reunited or rehomed over 17,000 pets. In 2007, he and his children moved to North Carolina where he and Betsy lived out his farming dreams on an old farm in Chapel Hill. Ed continued his work in animal welfare as a vice president in charge of strategy and partner relationship with Petfinder.com and Nestle Purina until this year.

Over his lifetime, Ed’s faith and his work ethic were constants. He was a camp director, an EMT, an animal control officer, a shelter administrator, managed the dairy barn at UNH, and worked in an ice-cream parlor. He loved all his jobs and he loved the people with whom he worked even more. He had complete and unwavering faith in God, love, and the healing power of chocolate.

A true Bostonian, Ed was proud of his wicked accent, celebrated all things Patriots/Red Sox/Celtics/Bruins, and loved his Sam light. He liked to play sports as much as he liked to watch them. He ran races, played volleyball, and in his late 40’s fell in love with Soccer and played with the Rainbow League.

He is remembered as a dedicated family man. When his first niece was born, he learned to juggle because he felt a good uncle would know how to juggle. Ed was a single father for many years, and his dedication to his children was humbling. As hard as he tried, Ed’s only failure as a parent was his inability to embarrass his children, which speaks not to his lack of trying, but to the strong values he instilled in them. Like animals of all types, children were drawn to Ed. He was loved dearly by his children, granddaughter, nieces, and their friends.

During Ed’s illness, dozens of people from around the country have reached out to share the extent to which this quiet, intelligent, fair-minded, lovable, thoughtful and funny man--husband, father, son, uncle, brother, and colleague--changed their lives. His family is thankful to all those who have shared so many memories of him.

He is survived by his wife, Betsy Banks Saul, three children, Kristen Powers, Nathaniel Powers, and Becky Nichols, one granddaughter, Azalyn Borca, his parents, Margaret and Edward Powers, Jr., and his siblings, Sue Miller, Paul Powers, Tom Powers, and Joe Powers as well as his five cows, two horses, two pygmy goats, two dogs, five cats, 29 fowl, and one box turtle.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Petfinder Foundation, Paws4Ever Animal Sanctuary, or your local food pantry.
Posted by:
Archive
Posted on:
November 1, 2016
Memories Album
Posted by:
David A Williams
Posted on:
November 15, 2016
Sent a gift in memory of Edward James Powers
Posted by:
Judy Calhoun
Posted on:
November 11, 2016
Betsy and family,
I first met Ed when he spent a few months working at Dumb Friends League on an interim basis. His abilities to make people feel appreciated and supported were truly special. He dedicated himself to helping us keep our construction project and operations moving forward with an inspiring passion despite the "interim" nature of his time with us. I will miss seeing him and catching up at animal welfare conferences and can only imagine the hole that has been left in your lives. Ed touched and changed the lives of people and animals in all that he did.
Judy Calhoun
Larimer Humane Society
Posted by:
Alan Borgal
Posted on:
November 10, 2016
Sent a gift in memory of Edward James Powers
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Viewing

Unknown Location

Mass

St. Thomas More Catholic Church
940 Carmichael Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919-942-1040
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Cemetery

Unknown Location