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Obituary: Lee M. Powell

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Posted at 11:07 AM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 13:07:48-05

Lee M. Powell was born on June 1, 1935, in Egin Bench, Idaho to Floyd Henry and Katie Mason Powell. He passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Three Forks, Montana on January 15, 2022.

Lee spent his early years growing up in St. Anthony, Idaho, a scrappy farm boy who picked potatoes at a young age. He found his way to West Yellowstone, Montana in 1953. With the exception of two years, he spent in the Army, which remained his home until he moved in with his son and daughter-in-law in Three Forks, Montana in October of 2020. His last two years were spent telling stories of his youth, enjoying old westerns and sports on TV, and savoring a good steak.

He married Barbara Collette in August of 1959 and together they had seven children. They were married for over thirty years. Lee worked many jobs to provide for his family over the years including driving log and milk delivery trucks, running snow coach tours in Yellowstone and grooming snowmobile trails in the winter, and operating his own automotive repair shop. The job that he enjoyed the most, however, was working maintenance in Yellowstone National Park, a job he loved for 35 years. He made many dear work friends who spent countless hours visiting with him after his retirement.

The greatest source of pride and enjoyment for Lee were the lives of his seven children, 21 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren. He loved watching his children compete in sports and cheerleading, following the coaching careers of his sons and the activities of his grandchildren. He would spend many an hour telling stories from their lives and his, the way he remembered and interpreted them. His grandchildren were precious to him and he was extremely proud of each and every one of them and the lives that they lived.

Lee is survived by his children and their spouses, and grandchildren: son, Richy (Kristy) of Three Forks, MT, Steven Devers, BranDee Leier, Tara Lewallen, Britny Powell, Kimberly Branstetter, and Michaela Powell; daughter, Kim Stephenson (John F) of Mt. Pleasant, TX, Kara Paeltz, Kent Stephenson, and Klay Stephenson; son, Gary Powell of Mt. Pleasant, TX; son, Rob Powell (Deidre) of Idaho Falls, ID, Dylan Powell, Ashtyn Powell, Jayde and Traye Powell; son, Blair Powell (Lauralie) of Fairview, MO, Mandi Hoffman, Jaxon Powell, Cheridyn Powell, and Payton Powell; daughter, Holly Jacobs (Chris) of Knoxville, TN, Regan Mains, Caitlin Kropschot, Haleigh Jacobs, and Whitney Jacobs; his brother, Jay Powell of Pocatello, ID; close family friend, Matt Burden (Kelly); and 19 great grandchildren.

Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd Henry and Katie Mason Powell; step-father, Wayne Richards; siblings, Rex, Jack (Pete), Yvonne, Wayne, and Marilyn, and an infant son, Heath.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at the Povah Senior Citizen’s Center in West Yellowstone, with a viewing for family and friends beginning at 9:00 A.M. Interment will be at Fir Ridge Cemetery following the services. To view the service live, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffZ1u_FmAHQ [youtube.com]

The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Bozeman VA Clinic for the care and compassion shown to Dad in the past year and a half. Also, thank you to the doctors and the nurses at Bozeman Health Cardiology.

Memorial Donations may be made to the West Yellowstone Senior Center, P.O. Box 1592, West Yellowstone, MT 59758.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com [dokkennelson.com]