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Ted Ferrell Powell

February 2, 1935 — March 21, 2023


Ted Ferrell Powell


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My father, Edward Lewis Powell, and mother, Thelma May Arnold Powell, leased a small service station on the south edge of Rexburg, Idaho when I was born.  The station had log cabins which dad rented out.  Because they were just getting started and didn’t have much money, they were living in one of the cabins.  The weather was bad when I was born on 2 February 1935.  Because the logs were not chinked very well, wind and snow were blowing into the cabin.  Mom told me they hung sheets up to the walls so the drafts would be directed down to the floor.  

I am the fifth of five boys.  My older brothers are Edward Arnold, Dick Leroy, Robert Thomas, and Don Gayle.  I have two younger sisters, Jacqueline and Geraldine.  Both of my sisters died just after birth.

I remember playing in the log cabins when they were not rented.  Dad also rented out horse trailers and small fishing boats.  I always went once a day to the service station because all of us boys were allowed one ice cream cone a day.  It didn’t take long to discover that one cone could be enlarged by stuffing the ice cream down into the base of the cone with the handle of the dipper.  Dad knew and laughed at our antics.  As a family we were not wealthy, but we always had plenty of food. Mostly I wore hand me down clothes with four older brothers.  My parents were not demonstrative in showing love, but in all other ways I knew they loved me and my brothers loved me.

Athletics were a big part of my life.  My older brothers were always playing the game of the seasons, basketball, football, baseball, track, etc.  Most of my early birthday gifts were balls, mitts, bats, etc.  We worked hard and fast so we could end the day with a hard fought ball game.  Dad never missed a ball game that one of us boys played in.  From Arnold on down to me, I can remember him sitting in the stands cheering us on.

Dad was Bishop of the Rexburg 3rd Ward for over 15 years.   He was always gone to a meeting of some kind or other.  He was on the Boy Scout Council for years, as well as serving as a city councilman for Rexburg.  Dad had a large number of widows in the Ward and he would often take me with him to visit them.  I remember delivering sacks of flour from welfare to many of them. I would pull it in my red wagon.  Dad tried to work in our yard and garden with me and my brothers, but I can’t recall a time when he was permitted to finish.  He would be called to the phone or to help out at the service station or he had to leave to attend a meeting.  He told me he wanted me to succeed more than he did.  I have tried to accomplish this.  Dad had a minimal grade school education.  What he achieved was from hard work, determination and personality.  

On December 8, 1950 I was a starter at center on Madison High basketball team. We played at Driggs.  We were beating them so bad that I was only on the floor ½ of the time, but I made about 26 points.  I was to be promoted to varsity the next week.

On December 9, 1950 I went with the explorer scouts on a rabbit hunt.  I took my automatic .22 rifle and along with others had a very successful hunt.  We gathered the dead rabbits to sell to the mink ranchers.  When the day was getting dusk the leaders were picking us up in a four-wheel drive Jeep to go back.  There was no room for me in the cab, the back or the front left fender.  So I got on the front right fender.  When we turned around and headed for the cars, the tire struck a rut and because the Jeep was top heavy, it fell on its right side. I fell off and hit the ground and the truck fell on me.  Some of the rabbits fell to the ground and provided some cushion for me.  My friend lifted the truck off me and the others helped lift it up on its wheels.  I was not in pain until they tried to move me. I blacked out off and on.  I could not bend my legs or it pained me beyond endurance.  They drove a car up to me and put me in the back seat and someone kneeled in back with me and held the door open so I could lay flat.  They rushed me toward Rexburg.  We stopped at dad’s station where they had the Flamm Mortuary hearse, to take me to Idaho Falls because the Rexburg doctors weren’t home.  My mother crawled into the back seat of the car to see how I was. To this day I can’t forget the worried, concerned, loving face.  It haunted me to know how I worried her and dad.  

Many tests and x-rays showed I was bleeding internally and had broken my pelvis in many places.  I had a perforated bowel that was causing peritonitis.  Many pints of blood were transfused to me.  Dad and others gave me a blessing, which I don’t remember, but said I would recover.  It took about a week and 2 operations to make sure I would live.  A third operation was performed between Christmas and New Year’s where they put in silver wire and screws.  

I was taken home in a body cast from my armpits to my knees.  I had this on for six weeks.  I slept in a borrowed hospital bed in the dining room.  After I had the cast removed I could not walk alone after so long a time in bed and the weak condition of my body.  My brothers would get on each side of me and walk me around the living room and kitchen.  I started to swim and exercise every chance I could get to get my strength back.  I was made athletic manager of the baseball team that spring so I could letter.  The next year the coaches asked me to be manager of the football team so I wouldn’t take a chance on being hurt again.  I did make the basketball team as 2nd string but I had lost much of my jumping ability and coordination.  

This accident changed my life dramatically. My goal was to be a professional basketball player in the winter and a farmer in the summer. With coordination gone, the basketball career was gone. I could no longer lift heavy loads or work in the fields, so farming was out also.  We had an accountant doing our books in the insurance agency my father bought. I marveled at how he helped us and knew so much about taxes.  I knew then I wanted to be either an accountant or a tax lawyer. 

After my accident I had met Nedra Scoresby in high school.  She was a freshman when we met.  We went together all through high school.  After I graduated I went to Ricks College in accounting.   Even though everyone told us we were crazy, we decided to get married while she was still a senior, on January 15, 1954 in the Idaho Falls Temple.  Four years later we had 3 children, Janeal, Julia, and Greg Ferrell.  I was working with my father in the insurance and real estate business in Rexburg.  We had a beautiful new home on the hill in Rexburg.  One day in the summer I had the overwhelming feeling that I should sell the insurance business and our home and go to Salt Lake to go to the University of Utah for schooling.  I went home at noon and announced to Nedra that I wanted to move to Salt Lake City.  She gulped hard and said if that is what I wanted to do, she would support me all the way.  I have always been grateful for her willingness to move.  We bought a small bungalow home in the Sugarhouse area.  It was so dirty and had to be cleaned thoroughly.  I remember Nedra on her hands and knees with a scrubbing brush crying because of leaving a new home and having to clean up years of filth in this home.  My first job was at JC Penney in Sugarhouse.  I was a salesman in the men’s department for $1.00 an hour.  I would go to class until 9:45 am and go to work at 10 am and then take a class on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  Three months later I was offered a job at Keith O’Brien for $1.25 an hour, a big 25% increase.  Later I moved to ZCMI and was in the appliance department.   

We added a fourth child and third daughter to our family, Megan, in June 1960.   

I worked full time and went to school full time for four years and graduated from the University of Utah in accounting in August 1962.  We bought a home in Bountiful in March 1963.  We lived there for 14 years and raised our children in that home.  

I worked for a couple of companies selling insurance and managing businesses for several years.  Then in June 1967 I started working for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints managing the Genealogical Society and later responsible for the Granite Mountain Vaults.  In 1971 I was made manager of Field Operations, responsible for all of the microfilming for the church.  I began to travel around the world.  I was gone for three weeks and home for three weeks.  I had the opportunity to go to so many places around the world, including Russia, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, and many other islands of the sea, New Zealand, Australia, India, all over Europe, South Africa, Rhodesia, Israel, Mexico, and all the countries in Central and South America.   I negotiated with the country, and often the religious organizations there, to microfilm their birth, marriage, and death records.  Then I arranged for the people to operate the cameras in the country and send the film back to Utah so we could use it for our family history research and temple work.  

In 1970, when Megan was ten years old, we had another daughter, Kara, join our family.  She was in a house full of adults who taught her something every minute.  She giggled, laughed, and talked continually.

In June 1973 Jan married Richard Lee Groves and they now have five children.  In November 1975 Julia married Barry Morgan Smith and they now have six children.  In January 1976 Megan married and had three children.  

Also in January 1976 our sixth child, another daughter, Nedra Elizabeth, was born.  We were so excited to have her.   It was a really busy time for us.

February 1977 we moved to a new home in the Val Verda area of Bountiful.  In May 1977 Greg left on a mission to Santiago, Chile.    We were so proud of him.  After Greg returned from his mission he met and married Julie Ann Ellison in August 1983.  They had 3 children and were later divorced.  Greg married Gina Marie Forbush in May 1992.  

I went back to school and received my MBA from the University of Phoenix in 1988.

In 1990 Megan married and had another child.  Kara married and had 5 children.  In 2002 Liz married Glenn Thomas.  They have two children. They were later divorced and in 2021 Liz married Richard Jarman.    

I decided to retire in 1998 and we bought some property in Island Park and started to have a cabin built on it.  However, we were called on our first mission to the Bahamas in early 2000 and spent 24 wonderful months there.  I was called as counselor to the Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission President and we had 8-10 missionaries serving with us.  It was a different culture and we wouldn’t have missed it for anything.  We made many friends and loved the people. 

We were home for a year and were asked to go on a second mission to Israel.  This was a dream come true.  We couldn’t proselyte in Israel but we supported the members there.  We held a lot of firesides and did a lot of teaching to the members.  We also assisted at the Jerusalem Center as needed.  We were mostly in the north of Israel, but traveled all over.  We were there for 15 months.   We would study the scriptures and then go out and see where it happened.  It was an amazing experience.   Again, we learned a new culture.  We taught English in the Arab high school and Nedra learned some Hebrew.      

While we were on our missions our children worked on the cabin and had it mostly finished by the time we returned.   I did a lot of finish work on it and we started spending most of the summers there.  We had decided to move into a smaller home after retirement and moved to Centerville where we have spent the last 16 years.  It has been a wonderful ward with amazing neighbors.  

Ted is survived by his wife of 69 years, Nedra Scoresby Powell, and his children Janeal (Dick) Groves, Julia (Barry) Smith, Greg F Powell (Gina), Megan Starr, Kara Powell, Nedra Elizabeth (Richard) Jarman, 27 grandchildren, 49 great grandchildren, and 4 great-great grandchildren (with one on the way).   He is preceded in death by two granddaughters.

Viewing will be in the Park Ward, 1125 North 400 West, Centerville, Utah 84014 from 6-8 pm in the evening on March 26, 2023.  Funeral services will be on Monday, March 27, 2023 with a viewing at 10:00 am and the funeral at 11:00 am.  Internment at the Memorial Lakeview Cemetery, 1640 East Lakeview Drive, Bountiful, Utah 84010.


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Past Services

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Saturday, March 25, 2023

10:30am - 12:30 pm (Mountain time)


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Sunday, March 26, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Monday, March 27, 2023

10:00 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, March 27, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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