Marcus L. Powell, Jr., Colonel, US Army, Retired, a resident of Oxford, NC, passed away on Friday, September 20, 2013. He was born on October 9, 1918 in Mecklenburg County, VA. He was the son of the late Marcus L. and Annie O. Powell. An older brother and a younger sister also preceded him.
His military career began in May 1941 when he was ordered to active duty as a 2nd LT, Army Reserve, and assigned to the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, stationed at Fort Benning, GA. Colonel Powell remained with this unit throughout WW II, participating in the D-Day assault on Utah Beach as a captain, commanding the regimental antitank company. Following assignments as Regimental S-3 operations and 1st Battalion XO, he became the fifth combat commander of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Inf. Regt, a position he held for the remainder of the war. In July 1945, with the war over in Europe, his unit was returned to the States with the mission of training for participation in the invasion of the Japanese mainland. On July 21, 1945, ten days after arriving in the States, he married Katherine Kay Spencer, his wife of 49 years and the mother of his four children. Kay died on August 1, 1994. Following WW II, Colonel Powell was awarded a commission in the Regular Army, with the rank of major. In between overseas assignments in Germany, Greece, Iraq, Korea and Vietnam, he was a student and instructor in the military school system, served four years in the Pentagon and on the staffs of other senior headquarters. While in Korea, he commanded the 2nd Battle Group, 3rd Infantry, 7th Infantry Division. His decorations include the Silver Star for gallantry in action, three Legions of Merit, three Bronze Star medals, the Air Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Parachute Badge, the Distinguished Unit Citation and numerous service and foreign awards. Colonel Powell was a graduate of Virginia Tech, the Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College and the Army War College.
Surviving are his wife, Henrietta Parker Powell; daughter, Sandy Holden and husband, Pete of Highlands, NC; daughter, Barbara Roberts of Whitestone, VA; son, Bob Powell and wife, Phyllis of Irmo, SC; daughter, Kathy Rhine and husband, Greg of Garland, TX; brother Edwin H. Powell and wife, Margie; two granddaughters, a grandson and six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by three step-daughters; Carol Barnes and husband, Dudley; Pam Counts and husband, Joe; Henrietta Bickett and husband, Bill; and seven step-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at Oxford United Methodist Church at 11:00 AM on Saturday, September 28, 2013 by the Reverend David Haley. The family will receive friends in the church fellowship hall one hour prior to the service. Following the service, the family will host a luncheon at Thorndale County Club. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery. Request that flowers be omitted. Donations may be made to Oxford United Methodist Church, 105 W. McClanahan Street, Oxford, NC 27565 or to Oxford Presbyterian Church, 121 Gilliam Street, Oxford, NC 27565.
The Powell family is being assisted by Gentry-Newell & Vaughan Funeral Home in Oxford. For online condolences, go to www.hallwynne.com and select obituaries.