With his loving family close by his side, St. Albans native Bryan Jay Powers, 63, lost his arduous battle with cancer on May 17, 2015.
Born Oct. 28, 1951, Bryan is survived by his wife of 41 years, Dale (Martell) Powers, whom he married while he was still an active member of the U.S Navy. He also leaves behind his daughter, Kelly and her husband, Keith Wakefield, of Fairfax, and his son, Nathan and his special friend, Kali Bilodeau, of St. Albans.
When Bryan married Dale on Sept. 21, 1974, he became a part of the Martell clan, a large and bustling family that welcomed Bryan with open arms. To the Martells, he was more than an in-law. Through five decades he was a fixture at family functions, famous for reminding the myriad of siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews and associated friends to “take all you want, eat all you take” as they descended on an often chaotic buffet line. At the end of his life, his youngest sister-in-law, Sophia Greenia, provided gentle, respectful care for which Bryan was genuinely appreciative.
His parents both passed before him, his mother Florence Cline Powers in 2013 and his father James in 1979. His brother Avery predeceased him in 1983. His brother Mark and his wife, Lucy, of St. Albans survive him.
Bryan began work as a teenager, assisting his father at Powers Pharmacy in St. Albans. He spent to bulk of his career (1978 to 2002) as a characterization development technician at IBM in Essex Junction, and worked as a government contractor with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in St. Albans until 2012. He was honored to serve in the U.S. Navy from 1970 to1976, enlisting while still in high school. A Vietnam War veteran, he was aboard the ammunition ship USS Nitro while it was based in Subic Bay in the Philippines. He was a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the USS Nitro Association, American Legion Post Green Mountain Post #1 and VFW Post #758.
A 1971 graduate of BFA-St. Albans, Bryan had a special fondness for the Rail City and its history. He served as board member for the St. Albans Historical Society since 1990 and oversaw the collections of the St. Albans Historical Museum as it became a vibrant showcase of the Franklin County community. He was an avid collector of any and all St. Albans memorabilia. He also served as a sexton at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and volunteered at Martha’s Kitchen.
As Bryan struggled with his illness, he relied heavily on the advice and direction of Dr. Dennis Sanders and the staff at the St. Albans office of the Vermont Center for Cancer Medicine and Blood Disorders. His family will forever be thankful of the care he received.
Calling hours will be Thursday, May 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Heald Funeral Home, 87 South Main Street, St. Albans. His funeral service will be held Friday, May 22nd, at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 29 Congress Street, St. Albans. Interment with military honors will follow at the Georgia Plain Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bryan’s name to the St. Albans Historical Society & Museum, P.O. Box 722., St. Albans, VT 05478 or Martha’s Kitchen, P.O. Box 1561, St. Albans, VT 05478. Messages of condolence to Bryan’s family are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com.