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~ Kathy M.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Wesley M. Powell, RIP:

I posted the first part of this yesterday, but had so much more to say after we attended the service.  Because of Christmas, they delayed the service for a bit.  I kept thinking, this is a good idea for others too, because folks get a chance to come to terms with their grief, and have more time to make travel arrangements.  The service was held at the church Wes was a member of, the Cascade Bible Church in La Pine.

Here is a copy of Wes' obituary from the Bend Bulletin:

Wesley M. Powell

July 20, 1949 - Dec. 16, 2010

Wesley M. Powell of La Pine, passed away Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010. He was 61.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Dec. 30, at the Cascade Bible Church in La Pine. A wake will follow at the Moose Lodge from 3 to 7 p.m.

Wes Powell was born July 20, 1949, in Weed, CA. He was raised in Prospect, OR, and graduated high school in Eagle Point, OR. Wes married his wife, Nicole (Niki) Powell on May 18, 2001. He was a master carpenter and craftsman. He enjoyed the great outdoors and loved to fish and hunt. He studied the scriptures and his faith in God was extremely strong.

Shall we always remember him for the love and support he gave to others.

Survivors include his wife, Nicole (Niki) Powell of La Pine; mother, Marie Ogletree of Oregon City; son, James of Portland; daughter, Stacie of Commack, NY; brother, Albert of Phoenix, AZ; sister Phyllis of Oregon City; sister, Kay of Medford; five grandchildren and one great- granddaughter.

Wes has gone home to our Lord!

Memorial contributions may be made to Cascade Bible Church, 52410 Pine Dr., La Pine, OR 97739. Baird Memorial Chapel of La Pine is in charge of arrangements.   

Please keep Niki and their family in 
your thoughts and prayers today.

UPDATE:   We went to the celebration of life yesterday, and it was one of the most beautiful and uplifting services that I have ever been too.  There were over 300 people crammed into the pretty new church that Wes had helped build.  

Many shared their stories of how much Wes meant to them, and how he was such a good man.  Apparently, Wes gave many, many people Bibles and handwritten scripture verses.  The fact that Wes was dyslexic made it even a more special labor of love, as he worked hard on those notes given to his friends.  Everybody spoke of how he really loved people, listened with his whole heart, and was very generous.  He was a very hardworker, a master craftsman, and one who did not like the limelight.  The pastor mentioned that there was going to be a huge hole in the whole church with him gone.

I gathered my courage and told everybody that though my story was going to sound weird, I think that I had gotten a phone call from Heaven within a half an hour of hearing the news of Wes' death, even though it was about 11 hours after it happened.  The lady behind me said, that was true, stuff like that happens.  I was so grateful to her.  Cary said I did really good, but all day long I kept thinking, those people are going to think I am a really weirdo.  But, what the heck.  It was an encouraging message that I gave, and I felt a burning desire to speak, like somebody, including Niki, could benefit from it.  (Click here for a copy to that post. )   Cary gave a touching and heartfelt message, saying that he wished he could be like Wes and always be so positive and smiling.  Wes was filled with the joy of the Lord almost all of the time.

Apparently, back in the days before Jesus came into his heart, Wes was not always so nice all the time.  We had never seen that side of him, because his heart was changed years before we met him.   I think that some of his family from far away was simply blown away by the number of people who loved him, and who had so many good things to say.   The pastor was his friend for 19 years, and said that they both had changed over time, and for the better.  It was such an awesome witness.  I used to be like this, before Jesus came into my life, and now I am like this.  It doesn't mean that we are perfect and don't make mistakes ... it just means that we know we are loved, and strive to share that love with others.  That is what being a Christian really is to me.

There was a beautiful slide show, filled with family photos, photos of Wes and Niki's wedding, and of Wes' Thanksgiving trip to New York in November.  The church had paid for his trip to go and see his daughter and her family, which includes her husband and three beautiful children.  Wes and his daughter had not seen each other in 15 years, and they took so many pictures!  What a blessing.  (I told Cary and April, well there is a case for taking as many pictures as you can.)

I was on a high after that service.  Being surrounded by so many other believers, and so many others that had been touched by Wes' love.  He made an impact with his life, and he let Jesus shine through him.  

I am going to go ahead and put this on here.  Though he usually did not drink more than a couple of beers (seriously), the night he died, Wes had way too much to drink.  His windows were frozen, and he pulled out in front of a semi and died immediately.  Wes was used as an example in the Bend Bulletin newspaper on what an awful person he was to have been driving drunk.  They really beat him up.  I didn't read it, but several people told me about it.  The thing is, Wes was not an awful person.  He was one of the best.  We will never know why he did what he did, and we will all miss him so much.  A gentle man who touched so many with the true love of God is now gone.  One stupid mistake, and for those who do not know him, a tarnished reputation as the guy in La Pine who died in a car crash under the influence. But for those who knew him and for those who wished that they had, Wes' passing is a tragedy and a loss.

This copy of Wes' favorite poem was in his program:


I was regretting the past
and fearing the future.

Suddenly my Lord was speaking,
"My name is I Am."   He paused,
I waited, He continued.

When you live in the past with its
mistakes and regrets, it is hard.  
I am not there.  
My name is not,
'I was.'

When you live in the future with its 
problems and fears, it is hard. 

I am not there.  
My name is not,
'I will be.' 

When you live in this moment, with its
blessings and faith, it is not hard.

I am here.
My name is,
'I Am.'

Rest in peace our friend!  We know that you are happy and whole and living the dream.  Thanks for all those you touched here on earth.  You really had that Jesus/Carpenter thing going on, and I wish that I had a copy of  the picture of you to put on here that was by the guest book.   You shine in that one.  We'll miss you lots.  And we will all take good care of Niki for you.

God bless,

~ Kathy 

My girl Kristin posted this on Facebook this morning about another family, but I thought it was so nice that I wanted to add it on to here:

" 'There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go.'
My heart goes out to a special family during a difficult time. Gone but never forgotten, he shall be in our hearts forever."


Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Kathy, what a beautiful and heartfelt post for your dear friend, Wes. And what a commendation for him that so many people turned out for his funeral! I can see he was very loved. And isn't it wonderful that he got together with his daughter only a month ago after not seeing her for 15 years? It's odd how things like that happen. Well, again, this is a wonderful post for your friend, and I am sure that Wes is smiling down and thanking your for remembering him.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Thank you, Gloria. I appreciate your comment so much. :>)


Linda Barnes said...

I knew Wes and his family when they lived in Prospect. Actually Wes and I were girl/boyfriend. Wes was such an amazing guy even then. He also showed me such respect. He was kind to everyone who knew him. I am sad to hear of his passing but not without hope. What joy it gives me knowing he was a born again believer, as I am. I know where he is and that in itself brings peace to me. I've always wondered what happened to him and now I know he lived his life for Jesus and his family/friends. It's hard for those left behind but one day they will not only see Jesus face to face but Wes too. Blessings and prayers to his family. I am blessed to have known this great man. Linda Barnes

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