Robert “Bob” S. Powell, Sr.
Robert (Bob) Stephen Powell, Sr., 86, a resident of the Fort Myers, FL area since 2001, and a longtime resident of Wilmington, DE, died in the early hours of Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at the HealthPark Medical Center in Fort Myers following a long battle with cancer.
Bob was born on December 15, 1932 in Hagerstown, MD to Harry K. and Madalyn (nee Springer) Powell and raised in Joplin, MO. He earned his bachelor of business administration degree in 1955 from the University of Miami, where he was President of the Sigma Nu fraternity and was inducted into the honorary Order of the Iron Arrow and the leadership society Omicron Delta Kappa. On graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served in France from 1955-57. He then spent many years working in the oil & gas industry for Phillips Petroleum Company and was President of Phillips retailer Del-Way Petroleum.
Bob was devoted to public service and was active in state and local politics for many years. He was elected to the Delaware General Assembly in 1972 and represented the Pike Creek area for ten years. Notably, he was chairman of the House Revenue and Finance Committee as it considered and passed the 1981 Financial Center Development Act, which established Delaware as a credit card banking hub. He also served on the New Castle County Council from 1989-93 and was a member of the Governor’s Council on Labor, the Delaware Industrial Accident Board, and the Delaware state delegation to the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans.
Bob was a passionate college football fan, attending Miami Hurricane and Delaware Blue Hens games for many years. He traveled widely overseas, enjoyed playing card games and grilling at family barbeques. The Powells lived for forty years in the Hills of Skyline neighborhood west of Wilmington, spending countless holidays and birthday celebrations with a group of close friends who were christened the “Ps & Qs” based on the preponderance of family last names.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Doris Schwager Powell of Fort Myers; three loving children, Deborah Powell Osborn (John) of Chadds Ford, PA, Robert S. Powell, Jr. (Karen) of Newark, DE, and David W. Powell (Lauren) of Ridgewood, NJ; and three granddaughters, Delaney and Keeley Osborn, and Lauren Powell. He is predeceased by his brother Kenneth Powell (Joanne).
A memorial gathering for friends and family will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019 in Chadds Ford, PA, and will be followed by a private burial service at the Old Drawyers Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Odessa, DE. Flags flown over Delaware Legislative Hall in Dover and other state public buildings will be lowered to half-staff on Friday, June 7, 2019 in recognition of Bob’s service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Robert Stephen Powell may be made to Wounded Warriors Family Support at https://www.wwfs.org
Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fort Myers, is entrusted with final care.