Posted: Monday, January 15, 2001

Ralph Franklin Powell

Ralph Franklin Powell, a 20-year resident of Juneau, died Jan. 11, 2001, at his Juneau home.

He was born March 17, 1912, in Little Falls, N.Y. As a result of a broken home, he set out on his own at the age of 16. He heard a gospel message preached at a YMCA where he was staying, and it changed his life and established his life path of serving others.

He began his ministry and traveled throughout the United States with Dr. Leon Tucker and his Musical Messengers as a song leader and trumpeter. He completed his high school requirements at 29, then completed his degree at Baylor University and Southwestern Theological Seminary in Texas and Eastman School of Music in New York.

He met his wife Janie Bee in Atlanta and their wedding took place on Christmas Day of 1943.

For almost 50 years, he pastored numerous Baptist churches across the country and was involved in the construction of many new buildings. His talents as a choir director, trumpet player and radio broadcaster were always part of his ministry. He also ministered in Australia, Guyana, Brazil and in many villages across Alaska.

Upon retirement from Berean Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo., he gave up his retirement plans in Florida to follow his newly married daughter Honey Bee to Alaska. His grandchildren, great-grandchildren and extended family enjoyed his love and prayers.

He is survived by his wife Janie Bee and family members, Honey Bee and Dale Anderson, TamBee and Troy Stepp, KimBee, DarBee and Erik Anderson, all of Juneau, and Aleda and Phil Bowers, of Illinois.

Services were held today at Bethel Christian Center. Pallbearers were Erik Anderson, Tim Whiting, Walt Boman, Don Habeger, The Rev. Mike Pettijohn, Steve Ignell, Jeffrey Troutt and Ken Kreitzer. Honorary pallbearers were Leo Barrans, Kent Fagerstrom and Troy Stepp.

To continue his legacy of helping to build churches, in lieu of flowers, he has requested donations be made to Bethel Christian Center, dedicated to the new sanctuary fund. The mailing address is P.O. Box 32000, Juneau, Alaska, 99803.

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