Michael Max Powell was born July 9, 1950, to Max and Arlene (Alexander) Powell in Ottumwa, Iowa. He grew up with his older sister, Vicki in Memphis, Missouri making many childhood friendships. He would often talk about the kids in the neighborhood and the mischief they would get into. During his teenage years and while in the navy he lived in many places, but eventually came to call Memphis home again.
Mike graduated from Scotland County R-1 High School in 1968. In 1970, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he became a shipfitter. He served until 1973 when he was honorably discharged. After finishing his tour of duty, Mike studied at the Welding School in Quincy, Illinois, and later at the Tulsa Oklahoma Welding School.
Throughout the years Mike used his talents as a welder in his own shop, fixing items as simple as a child’s bicycle to repairing an intricate combine in a farmer’s field. He also spent time as a truck driver, hauling loads and avoiding weigh stations all over the United States for shipping companies and later running Powell Trucking. In recent years, Mike drove cement trucks for M & O Concrete and mowed for the City of Memphis.
Mike was mechanically minded and there wasn’t much he couldn’t fix. When he worked on projects, he started with nothing but chunks of metal and formed them into useful pieces of equipment. From the scrap pile to the work bench and then out the door it would go, rejuvenated and ready to be used once again. He was always tinkering with something. If it could fit through the shop door, be dragged into the driveway, or if he could get his welder to it, he could fix it anytime of the day or night. He would find value in what he worked on whether it was pulled from an old fence row or fresh off the assembly line.
Mike’s talents didn’t stop in the shop behind a welder’s mask or the wheel of a big rig. He also had musical talent. He began playing the drums in the school band and continued to perform for several years with Missouri Breaks around the area.
Through all his moves and many types of work, Mike never knew a stranger. Not only did he establish many human friendships, he always had a soft spot for any four-legged, furry critter. They must have just known how well he would treat them, as they were always gathering at his door. Whether it was a dog or cat, or even a few goats, Mike just couldn’t say no. He loved having the grandkids come out to his place and spend time outside playing so he could share with them his love for animals.
He was preceded in death by his father, Max Powell, mother, Arlene Johnson, and step-father, Charlie Johnson, grandparents, Bressler and Dono Alexander and Ross and Cora Powell.
Mike is survived by his two daughters, Angella (Matt) Tipling and Candace (Nick) Kratzer, grandchildren Alexis (Caleb) Kittle, Shelby Tipling, Gage Dodge, Anna Tipling and Kallee Kratzer, and great grandson Caisen Kittle. Mike is also survived by his sister Vicki Kershaw.
Memorials in lieu of flowers are suggested to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (ASPCA)
A visitation was held Thursday evening at Payne’s, Oct 13, from 6 to 8 P.M. and private inurnment services were held Friday afternoon with full military honors provided by the Wallace W. Gillespie V.F.W. Post # 4958 of Memphis and two from his unit in the state honors program.
Mike passed away Oct. 6, 2022 at his home in rural Memphis. As per his wishes cremation rite were accorded.
Online condolences may be shared with the Powell family by logging onto Payne’s website at paynefuneralchapel. com.