Eugene Powell
106th Infantry Division
Email from son, 11/2007 - Dear Friends and Family,

Our Dad died peacefully at his home on Saturday, November 10, in the company of people who love him. Our father was a wonderful, kind, talented, and courageous man with a positive attitude and terrific sense of humor.

We will really miss him, but at the same time, we are glad that he is released from the physical and emotional pain that he has suffered with his 3 year battle with cancer. We are planning a celebration of his life at a later, as yet undetermined date and we will be sure to let you know the date and location.

We were so fortunate that Dad was able to attend the special Veteran's Day ceremony held by Hospice last Friday. He was surprised to be the guest of honor and paid tribute to by a General, as well as by the people for Hospice who loved him dearly. Dad was a POW in WWII, and has been very active in Veteran's Affairs, and the American Ex-POW organization.

For people who may be interested in what they can do; In Lieu of flowers, donations in the name of Eugene Powell can be made to: American Indian
College Fund, P.O. Box 172449, Denver, CO, 0217-9797
Valley Cottage artist, veteran is remembered

(Original publication: November 18, 2007)

VALLEY COTTAGE - Friends and family remember Eugene Powell for his work as a painter and scenic artist, for his kindness and for having a sense of humor and a positive attitude in the face of adversity.

Powell, a former prisoner of war who was known to friends as Gene, died Nov. 10 at his Valley Cottage home after a three-year struggle with cancer.

He continued to stay active with the arts and with veterans issues even when he was ill.

Powell took joy from his work painting sets for Broadway shows, including "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Cats," and for such movies as "Raging Bull" and "Sophie's Choice."

He also showed his paintings in galleries across the country, including The Art Institute of Chicago and the Brooklyn Museum. After retiring, he was involved in the restoration of the historic Lyndhurst mansion in Tarrytown.

Powell became a mentor to young artists in the area, including Valley Cottage metal sculptor Eric Laxman. Powell introduced Laxman to other artists in his field, helping him in his career. He also coached other young artists on passing the exam to be a scenic artist.

"He was always a very generous person," Laxman said.

Laxman described Powell's artistic style as "very textural," using 3-D and overlapping images, and later including computer image manipulation.

In addition to art, Powell loved to sing and play guitar. His wife of 61 years, Neva Powell, said they enjoyed classical music concerts and travel. They raised two daughters, Chris and Abby, and son Gene Powell.

But Powell's life was not easy. He endured extreme hardships in World War II, while he served in the Army's 106th Infantry Division. Powell was captured at the Battle of the Bulge and held as a prisoner of war in a German camp.

The camp conditions were horrific, and the men were so starved that by the time Powell was freed, he weighed a little over 70 pounds, said his wife, adding that he suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome.

Powell was involved in veterans affairs over the years, and served in national and local posts of the American Ex-Prisoners of War. He was the guest of honor at a Veterans Day ceremony held at the United Hospice of Rockland a week ago.

Neva Powell said her husband was courageous and driven. "He believed in doing everything to the best of his ability," she said.

The family plans to hold a celebration of Powell's life in the spring to mark his passing.

Page last revised 11/18/2007