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Published: Tuesday, 10/12/2004

Lutheran pastor enjoyed sports, carving wood

FINDLAY, Ohio - The Rev. Warren Weston Powell, a Lutheran minister for 35 years in Bryan, Vermilion, and other parts of Ohio and Indiana, died Sunday in his Findlay home. He was 83.

The family did not know the cause of death, his son, Douglas E. Powell, said.

"He was always interested in working with people and helping them and spreading the gospel," his son said.

Mr. Powell was ordained in the United Lutheran Church, now the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, in 1945.

He served congregations as the sole minister in Milan and Cicero, Ind., and Amanda, Mansfield, Bryan, and Vermilion, Ohio, before retiring in 1980.

He had "a desire to serve and a strong faith that had been present in his family," his son said.

His father, two uncles, a brother, and two nephews were or are Lutheran ministers. His father baptized and confirmed him.

Mr. Powell served some rather difficult parishes, coming into situations where there had been friction in the congregation, said his wife, Arlene.

"It seemed like he was kind of a troubleshooter," she said.

Other churches he served were small, and had to struggle to survive and grow, she said.

Mr. Powell was born Nov. 2, 1920, in Convoy, Ohio, to Merlin I. and Dorcas Powell.

He attended schools in Leipsic until his senior year, when he moved to the Columbus district, graduating from North High School in 1938.

His first wife, the former Vera Mae Giltz, died in 1979. He married Arlene Yungmann Lange in 1981.

He graduated from Capitol University in Columbus in 1942 and then from the former Hamma Divinity School in Springfield, Ohio.

Mr. Powell never had a quiet moment, his wife said.

"He was always busy with something," she said.

She said he picked up scrap lumber or good pieces of wood to carve, making bird houses or wooden birds and transforming spindles into Santa Clauses.

He was a football and baseball fan, favoring the Ohio State University Buckeyes and the Cleveland Indians.

He also enjoyed playing and watching golf. In later years he lived on a golf course and had a large collection of golf balls that other players had lost, his wife said.

Throughout his life, his family had a Catawba Island cottage where they would go to fish, his wife said.

Surviving are his wife, Arlene; sons, Douglas E. and Drych D.; daughter, Dorcas "Dee" Shidler; step-daughter, Andrea Badenhop; brothers, Robert and Richard; sister, Louella Coffelt; six grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren.

Visition will be held after 2 p.m. today in the Coldren-Crates Funeral Home and beginning at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow in St. John's Lutheran Church, where services will begin at 10:30 a.m.

The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.

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