Frank M. Powell, Colonel US Army (Ret.), Teacher of Math and History, Commercial Hot Air Balloon Pilot, Hot Rod Enthusiast, husband, father, grandfather, and Gruppa, aged 84, died suddenly on March 2, 2018.
Col. Powell was born on November 3, 1933 in Loveland, OH to Reverend Richard Thomas Powell and Nora (Hitesman) Powell. The second of four sons, Frank dreamed of working on cars and being a Machinist.
Col. Powell completed 28 years, 5 months of service to his country on June 30, 1983. He was drafted from Cincinnati, OH in January 1955. In less than 1 year he achieved the rank of corporal and was promoted to Sergeant E-5 upon entrance to Officer Candidate School. He was a senior Army Aviator, Field Artillery; Munitions Material Manager; Operations and Force Development Officer, and Training Officer and Instructor. He served in Germany and Korea and had two tours in Vietnam. His schooling included Basic and Advanced Field Artillery, Field Artillery Survey, Fixed - and Rotary - wing Aviation, Aviation Safety, Armed Forces Staff College, and numerous weapons schools. He served as the Commander, Battery A, 1st Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery in Korea; Commander, 2nd Platoon, 92nd Aviation Company in Vietnam; Commander, Company A, 9th Aviation Battalion, 9th Division, Fort Riley, Kansas; Commander, 335th Assault Helicopter Company in Vietnam; and Commander, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Combat Training Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Other assignments included duty as an Army Inspector General; Instructor at Ft. Sill, Ft. Rucker, and at the Armed Forces Staff College, and a Training AIDS Service Officer, along with numerous staff assignments. He earned two awards of the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, 10 Air Medals, Presidential and Meritorious Unit Citations, and Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He was made an honorary member of the Montagnards Rhade tribe, located at Camp Buôn Ea Yông, Republic of Viêtnam.
Upon retirement from the military in 1983, Col. Powell attended the University of New Mexico to receive endorsements in education. He taught history, computers, and math for many years at McKinley Middle School in Albuquerque.
Frank was an avid hot air balloonist involved with and flying in many balloon rallies and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta with his hot air balloon, Spinnaker. In his later years, he renewed his love of hot rod cars and spent many hours at his shop in Albuquerque working on his 1950 Ford and his 1934 Ford Coupe.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley, of Rio Rancho; daughters Paula Powell and Rebecca Talbott; son-in-law Dale Talbott; grandchildren Daniel Talbott, Sarah Sheldon, Alice Sheldon (Ryan Compton), and David Talbott (Liz Olive); great-granddaughters Madeline Early and Natalie Talbott; and brother Paul Powell (Kay).
A memorial service will take place on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 1:30 pm at First United Methodist Church, 315 Coal Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM, 87102. Internment will be a private, family ceremony with full military honors at Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM.
The service will be officiated by Reverend Jon Moore. Funeral arrangements are provided by Daniels Family Funeral Services, 2400 Southern Blvd. SE, Rio Rancho, NM. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to National Museum of the U.S. Army Fund www.armyhistory.org or Army Historical Foundation P.O. Box 96281, Washington, D.C. 20090-6281.mony with full military honors at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM.