Womens Racquetball

Funeral Notice, October 16, 2022






Died September 20, 2022, following heart surgery in Tucson, Arizona, aged 84. Gene is survived by his beloved family: his wife, Lois Toning-Powell; children, Cathleen Powell-Carr, Shawn Powell, Shannon Powell and Jamie Powell, equally beloved stepchildren, Therese Mercer, Cris Mercer, Andi Mercer, Malia Mercer; grandchildren, Kevin, Alexis, Caitlin, Marie, Max, Cory, Sydney Caden and Darby and six great-grandchildren. Gene was born in St. Louis, MO on April 16, 1938, and attended Southwest High School in St Louis where he was elected class president. A classmate described Gene as the CEO of Southwest High as he was editor of the school newspaper, leader of the debate team, member of the choir, and captain of the football, baseball, and basketball teams. school ball. Gene received a full scholarship to Dartmouth and was drafted by the St Louis Cardinals. Otto Gene Powell was a second lieutenant in the USAF ROTC program which brought him to Fresno, California where he married his first wife Mary Genius. During his ROTC training, he was involved in a skydiving accident that severely injured his hip, ruining his attempt to play baseball for his beloved St. Louis Cardinals. This injury led to a double hip replacement and caused mobility issues in his later years. Gene’s business career began with employment with the California State Department of Highways acquiring properties for the California Aqueduct, Interstate 5 and other projects. That first job laid the foundation for his ultimate career in property management. After moving to Pleasanton, Calif., Gene worked for the Oakland Raiders’ first owner, Wayne Valley (yes – there was an owner before AL Davis!). He then moved on to Singer Housing, Dillingham, Lincoln and eventually started his own business. Gene moved to Lafayette, California, married Gretchen Mercer and had a daughter, Jamie Powell. He spent time living in Halfmoon Bay, Del Mar, Tucson, AZ and Leesburg, VA. Gene moved to Bend, Oregon in 2001. After Gretchen’s untimely death, Gene married Lois Toning-Powell of Sun River, Oregon. The happy couple moved to Oro Valley, Arizona in 2020 to enjoy a warmer climate. Gene and Lois enjoyed golfing, watching native wildlife (especially quail and javelins) in their backyard, and traveling with their family to places like Hawaii and Jackson Hole. Gene loved teaching and was the first instructor to issue an IREM CPM certification in South Korea. He also enjoyed many trips to Japan as a “Sensei” in Japan, of course this led to many golf trips and lifelong friendships. Gene loved his sports and played many sports despite his lifelong injury. He was a single-digit handicap golfer most of his life and was club champion at Riverside Fresno, Round Hill Alamo, CA and Bend Country Clubs. He drained seven “holes in one” in his career, the highlight being the 329-yard, 8th hole, par-4 at Round Hill. At 68, Gene pulled his age every year until he was 80! He was an excellent tennis player who was a master of strategy and angles always surprising his opponents with his returns. He played with people of all skill levels and had great patience teaching inexperienced players. Gene was an avid hunter and fisherman. An excellent marksman with any type of weapon, he enjoyed family hunting trips for upland game birds, ducks and geese. Gene was always ready for a good fishing trip, deep sea or fishing for trout and bass in various streams and lakes. Gene was filled with many stories from his life, all of which brought him joy to tell. He will be missed by his family and friends as he was always larger than life. A celebration of life is scheduled for November 5, 2022 at Bend Golf and Country Club. Donations can be made in Gene’s memory to the Southwest Indian Foundation or St Jude’s Hospital for Children. Arrangements from Vistoso Funeral Home.