Raymond Powell, 74, General Motors worker

April 05, 2003

Raymond Powell, a retired General Motors Corp. assembly-line worker and a longtime volunteer for the homeless, died of lung cancer Wednesday at Harbor Hospital. The Glen Burnie resident was 74.

Born in Collins, Ga., Mr. Powell was one of 11 children. When he was 18, he moved to Baltimore and worked as a construction worker for Welsh Construction. He was later promoted to supervisor.

During the Korean War, he served from 1950 to 1951 in the Army with the 62nd Engineering Construction Battalion and was discharged with the rank of staff sergeant. His decorations included the Korean Service Medal with three Bronze Stars and a United Nations Service Medal.

He returned to Baltimore and was employed as a construction worker before becoming an assembly-line worker at the General Motors plant on Broening Highway. He retired in 1985.

He was married in 1954 to the former Laura Jean Weber.

"He was really the wind beneath my wings," she said. "He was always in the background supporting everyone."

He was a member of several bowling leagues and enjoyed watching baseball, his wife said.

With his wife, Mr. Powell volunteered three times a week for the Feed the Hungry Program at Brooklyn United Methodist Church, where he was a member.

A 10-year volunteer who served coffee, he was nicknamed "coffee man," his wife said.

Services will be held today at 9 a.m. at the McCully-Polyniak Funeral Home, 237 E. Patapsco Ave.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Lori Kosack of Brooklyn Park and Amy Nickles of Pasadena; two brothers, John Powell of Edgewater and Jerry Powell of Reidsville, Ga.; two sisters, Mary Nel Cascio of Delaware and Martha Largent of Hampstead; and four grandchildren.

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