Cover photo for Donald  Robert Powell's Obituary
Donald  Robert Powell Profile Photo
1931 Donald 2023

Donald Robert Powell

June 14, 1931 — February 1, 2023

Donald Robert Powell, 91, of Bozeman, MT passed away on February 1, 2023, with his beloved daughter and granddaughter at his side. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11AM on Monday, February 13, 2023, at Resurrection Parish in Bozeman.

Donald was born on June 14, 1931, in Livingston, MT to Francis and Winifred (Krinke) Powell. He grew up in Livingston where he delivered newspapers as a boy to help the family during the Great Depression and would spend his summers working on the ranches of his extended family. He would go on to attend Park County High School. During this time, he also drove for Lehrkinds Bottling Co., delivering ice, pop, and beer, which, he would jest, he was allowed to deliver but not actually handle. After graduating in 1949 Donald enlisted in the Air Force. He was 17 years old.

In the Air Force, Donald wanted to be a pilot, however, his unique capacity for calm under pressure found him well suited for Air Traffic Control. He would proudly serve his country while being stationed in Germany and London, England during the post WWII German Occupation.

Donald did become a pilot and in 1953 started the MSU (now UM) Flying Club in Missoula. He would earn two degrees, one in business and the other in psychology. He wore many employment hats; tour bus driver for Yellowstone National Park, U.S. Treasury agent, bank president, banking consultant, and his favorite, computer systems engineer. He continued to work in systems well into his seventies.

A devout Roman Catholic he went on to earn his post-graduate certificate in Theology and became a lay minister at Resurrection Parish in Bozeman. He was an integral part of this community for over 37 years. In his spare time, he enjoyed aviation, biking, hiking, computers, and a passion for quantum physics, but not, he would joke, quantum theory. He will be remembered for his delightful sense of humor, his inexhaustible warmth and cheerfulness, and his enormous generosity.

Donald will be missed by many, but especially his daughters Tamala Powell of Bozeman and Lesley Shelton of Port Townsend, WA; son David (Jana Noel) Powell of Sacramento, CA; brother Kenneth (Shirley) Powell of Whitefish; and grandchildren, Hazel Gonzalez McCord and Jerry Shelton.

He goes on to join both his parents, his wife of 60 years, Jean, and his great-grandchild, Chammi Jo.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Donald’s honor to Resurrection Parish in Bozeman - Legendary Lodge, 2115 MT-83, Seeley Lake, MT 59868 - Yellowstone Boys & Girls Ranch,

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Robert Powell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, February 13, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Resurrection University Catholic Parish

1725 South 11th Avenue, Bozeman, MT 59715

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