Roy Powell, 86 years young, passed away suddenly on September 4, 2022, at Syringa Hospital in Grangeville. A lifelong resident of Grangeville, Roy was the quintessential entrepreneur, seeking business opportunities in unlikely places, forming long lasting work partnerships and managing a lifetime of community service as well.
Roy was the son of Lloyd E. and Susan Elizabeth (Olmstead) Powell, inheriting both parent's gifts for managing numbers and business acumen. He graduated from Grangeville H.S. in the Class of '53, then attended Idaho State University for two years. He served in the U.S. Army from January 1957 until December of 1958. While stationed in Japan, he learned the print trade. The skills he developed would set the direction of his later work; after leaving the service he worked for the Lewiston Tribune, later the Clearwater Progress, and finally joined his uncles John and Gene Olmstead at the Idaho County Free Press.
When Roy spotted Sharon Warden through the window of Western Auto, he was hooked. They were married in August 1962, and were partners in everything until Sharon's death in March 2012. He worked at Western Auto in 1967, but never one to sit still, by 1972 he was also building Boise Cascade houses with Gib Eimers. Roy saw opportunity in everything - at the tender age of ten he offered to help a traveling roller skate business unload and set up in exchange for free skating. He became a very proficient skater, and later Sharon did also; they purchased skates and began their own traveling business, the Grangeville Armory becoming a local hotspot.
Ever the sideline guy, Roy also sold utility trailers, purchased and managed several mobile home parks, and enjoyed working auctions with Wolfinger Auction Company. By 1986, Roy observed that the Free Press was reducing their print services and he and Sharon proudly opened the Print Shop in Grangeville (established 1986), eagerly awaiting delivery of their first Heidelberg Press. Roy retired from the Print Shop in Dec. 1998.
Roy loved antique cars and restored several, his beloved 1924 Dodge being the standout. He boasted a 60+ years membership in the Lewiston Crankers Club. He and Sharon loved drives on the prairie, and they loved camping and snow birding as well. He enjoyed cribbage, coffee, and beer, not necessarily in that order, and cultivated many childhood and lifetime friendships with Bernie DeHaas, Bunky Lathan, and Delores Chicane Hall.
Among his many accomplishments, Roy was a 56-year member of the Grangeville Volunteer Fire Department, retiring as Chief in 2000. During his tenure, numerous safety procedures were instituted, and new equipment procured; Roy worked tirelessly as a voice for rural volunteer firefighters in Idaho. Roy also instituted the Lighted Santa Fire Truck a beloved Grangeville tradition.
In addition to his wife of 49 years, Sharon, Roy was predeceased by his parents and two sisters: Nancy Sue Powell, and Gay Lindsey. Those left to miss him are his brother, Don Powell of Yakima, WA, brother-in-law Thomas Lindsey (Tucker), Sister-in-law Lois Jay Haagen (Christopher), niece Judy Lindsey (Mark) Klinger, his nephews Bradley Powell (Lisa) of Bellevue, WA, Bryan Powell (Linda) of Yakima, WA, Thomas Lindsey (Sue) of Lucile, ID, Randy Lindsey (Beverly), of Elk City, OR, Scott Lindsey (Annette) of White Bird, ID, Bradley Stickney (Smita), of Sumner, WA, Richard Haagen, of Puyallup, WA, and Rachel Rushton (Jacob) of Tacoma, WA. Also, numerous great nieces and nephews, and an entire community!
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2022, at 11:00 am at the Grangeville Christian Church. Inurnment will follow at Prairie View Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Blackmer Funeral Home, Grangeville. Send condolences to the family at blackmerfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to either the Grangeville Volunteer Fire Dept., or Grangeville Seniors Center.
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