Cover photo for Albert R. Powell's Obituary
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Albert R. Powell

April 10, 1922 — September 18, 2018


Albert Roy “Buster” Powell, 96 years old, formerly of Canonsburg, passed away Tuesday, September 18, 2018, in Washington, where he resided since 2011.  He was born April 10, 1922 in Canonsburg, the son of the late Albert and Harriet (Black) Powell.  Prior to World War II he was trained and worked as a machinist at Canonsburg Iron & Steel.  During the war he was first trained to be an aircraft mechanic in the Army Air Corps but then became a pilot when given the opportunity, learning to fly in an open cockpit biplane.  He continued to advance into bombers and heavy bombers with the war ending before seeing oversees duty; however, he remained in the reserves afterwards and transitioned into the United States Air Force when it was formed.  He saw active duty during the Korean War flying tactical cargo, and later flew supply missions during the Vietnam War.  He served almost 40 years in the military, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel from the 911th U. S. Air Force Reserve squadron based at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport.  He was the head of maintenance, the air traffic control officer, the flight test pilot, and the squadron leader.  He was also the service manager at one time for Levin’s Nash automobile dealership and later Cummins’ Buick dealership before opening his own service station in Canonsburg, first on Water Street and then on South Central Avenue.

He was an outdoorsman, having earned money during the Depression running a trap line where the Southpointe Golf Course is now located.  He raised and trained beagles in the ‘50’s after coming home from the Korean War and won many field trials with his beloved Blackie.  He was also a member of the former Canonsburg Hunting & Fishing Camp, also known as the Log Cabin Camp, at Benezette in Elk County.

He loved cars, especially those from his teen years.  He was a charter member of the Covered Bridge Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America.  He had several Model A Fords over the years and helped others in the restoration and maintenance of their vehicles.

He was a member of the Canonsburg United Presbyterian Church, where he served as an Elder and Trustee, and then was a member of the Chartiers Hill United Presbyterian Church.  He was also a Mason, a member of the Scottish Rite, and a Shriner.

On April 8, 1949 he married Nancy Jayne Small, who passed away September 3, 2016, and together they had a daughter, Deborah L. Powell, and a son, Eric C. Powell.  Also surviving is a son to his first marriage, A. Roy Powell, Jr. of Phoenix, Arizona.  A daughter from that marriage, Marie A. Patten of St. Peters, Missouri, preceded him in death, as well as two sisters, Mildred Speight and Hannah Zaccaglin, and a brother, Edward, all of whom in later years resided in the Los Angeles, California area.  He is survived by sisters Harriet Kubicar of Canonsburg and Jo Ann Powell of McMurray, and brothers Elmer of New Port News, Virginia and James of Port St. Lucie, Florida, as well as many nieces and nephews and their families.  He is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even a few great-great-grandchildren.

Friends are welcome from 2 to 4 & 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 20, 2018 in  Salandra Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc., Joseph P. Salandra, LFD, owner/supervisor and Darla A. Tripoli, LFD, 304 West Pike Street, Canonsburg, 724-745-8120 where a Masonic Service will be held at 7:00 p.m.  The Reverend Peggy Shannon of the Chartiers Hill United Presbyterian Church will lead the memorial service at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 21, 2018 in the funeral home.  Interment will follow at the Oak Spring Cemetery in Canonsburg.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making donations in memory of Albert to either Friends of Haiti, P. O. Box 1441, McMurray, PA  15317 or to The City Mission, 84 West Wheeling Street, Washington, PA  15301.

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