The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 6, 2014

Dr. Howard B. Powell, 76, Bloomsburg

The Daily Item

— BLOOMSBURG — Dr. Howard Benjamin Powell, 76, of Bloomsburg, died unexpectedly on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 5, 2014, in the Geisinger Medical Center emergency room, Danville.

He was born May 17, 1937, in East Stroudsburg, the middle son of the late David W. and Margaret (Shively) Powell.  

Ben moved to Bloomsburg in 1966 and taught American history at Bloomsburg University from 1966 to 1996.

He was a member of the American Historical Association and the Pennsylvania Historical Association. In 1978, Penn State Press published Philadelphia’s First Fuel Crisis: Jacob Cist and the Developing Market for Pennsylvania Anthracite. He also wrote a second book about two country music musicians Bob and Dean McNett. From 1977 to 1982, he edited Pennsylvania History, the quarterly journal of the Pennsylvania Historical Association. He did research for the Pennsylvania Anthracite Museum and served on the research council of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. He wrote history articles and reviewed books for Pennsylvania History. His wife, Edna, helped him work by typing, proofreading, and advising him with this work.  

Ben coached AYSO soccer for 13 years while his son played on his team. He assisted with fundraising for Big Brothers/Big Sisters (BB/BS) and the Mental Health Association (MHA) for more than 25 years. Ben, Edna and Stephen loved camping and spent many family vacations during the summer visiting many of the scenic areas of the United States. During the winter Ben was also an avid skier.

He was a member of the Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, where he served as chairman of the evangelism committee, the Men’s Prayer Breakfast, taught Sunday school, and sang in the senior choir.

Ben and his wife enjoyed all kinds of music from traditional gospel music to country music. They also liked the music performed at Bloomsburg University as well as music in the park provided by the town of Bloomsburg. With his son and grandchildren, he enjoyed collecting model trains. He and his wife were avid Bloomsburg University football and basketball fans.   

He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, the former Edna Keefer; one son and daughter-in-law, Stephen M. and Loretta Powell, of Binghamton, N.Y.: three grandchildren, Alex, Ben, and Henry Powell; and one brother, Ralph W. Powell of Fredricksburg, Va.  

Ben was preceded in death by his brother, David W. Powell.  

A time of visitation for family and friends will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Allen Funeral Home, Inc., 745 Market at Eighth Street, Bloomsburg. A funeral service will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 123 N. Market St., Bloomsburg, with his pastor, the Rev. Dr. Joel L. Zeiders, officiating.  

Private graveside services will immediately follow a luncheon.

Memorial contributions in Ben’s memory are suggested to St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 123 N. Market St., Bloomsburg or the Mental Health Association, 37 W. Main St., Suite 202, Bloomsburg, PA 17815.  

Friends and family wishing to send a memorial gift share a personal memory or offer condolences to the family, a Memorial Tribute Page in Ben’s honor and a Sympathy Store are available at