Thursday, August 15, 2002

Obituary: Douglas Powell found purpose as firefighter

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

        GOLF MANOR — The impetus for Douglas B. Powell's 20-year career as a volunteer Golf Manor firefighter/paramedic can be traced directly to the death of his father.

        “His father had died of a heart attack,” said Mr. Powell's wife, Roseann. “He felt that maybe there was something he could have done if he had known about the situation. That's why he became a paramedic.”

        Mr. Powell joined the Golf Manor Fire Department in 1981 and, over the years, served in nearly every capacity. He retired as assistant fire chief in 2001.

        Mr. Powell died Aug. 11 at Hospice of Cincinnati in Blue Ash after a seven-month battle with brain cancer. He was 55.

        His work was fulfilling, Mrs. Powell said.

        “He really enjoyed it,” she said. “He felt that he was useful. He felt like he was getting a purpose out of life by doing that.”

        Over the years, Mr. Powell spent countless hours working at the Golf Manor fire station.

        “If you wanted something done, you talked to Doug,” Fire Chief Gregory Ballman said. “The volunteering community spirit he had, there's just not a lot of that left. He could do anything. There are a whole lot of things around here that are the beneficiary of his handiwork.”

        Mr. Powell made lasting friendships in the department.

        “We did lots of things around that firehouse,” retired Golf Manor firefighter Hilliard Baas said. “He was a pretty good electrician and we transferred from mercury light to fluorescent lights in the (firehouse) bay. ... You could depend on him.”

        Mr. Powell graduated from the Norwood Police Academy in 1970 and worked as a constable for Williamsburg. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati paramedic program in 1980.

        He worked at Hilton Davis Chemical Co. in Bond Hill for 30 years and was plant fire chief for several of those years. He developed the first safety response team at Hilton Davis and brought an ambulance and fire truck to the plant.

        In 2001, he became an over-the-road truck driver.

        Mr. Powell also was chairman of the Golf Manor Planning Commission, a past president of the Golf Manor Firefighters Club and worked on dozens of special projects for the village. He was past master of Norwood/Winton Lodge 576 F&AM.

        Besides his wife, Mr. Powell is survived by his mother, Mildred Kamp of Clearwater, Fla.; two sons, John of Clermont County and Edward of Kalamazoo, Mich.; a daughter, Laura Powell of Kalamazoo; a brother, William H. Powell of Clermont County; and three grandchildren.

        Mr. Powell's body was cremated. A fire vehicle procession will leave Craver Riggs Funeral Home, 529 Main St., Milford at 10 a.m. Friday and move to Rest Haven Memorial Park in Evendale, where a service with full firefighter honors will be conducted.

        Memorials: Golf Manor Fireman's Club, 6450 Wiehe Road, Cincinnati 45237, in memory of Mr. Powell.


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