Joan L. Powell

Nov 14, 2017
Joan Powell

Rockland — Joan L. Powell, 89, died peacefully following an extended illness Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, at Sussman House in Rockport.

Born in Rockland Aug. 20, 1928, she was the daughter of Chester and Phyllis Whitehill Hunt. Educated locally, she was a 1946 graduate of Rockland High School.

While still in high school, Joan went to work for the Extension Service and later accepted the position of county executive director of agricultural stabilization and conservation service of Knox and Lincoln counties, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As one of the first women in this role, Joan served through nine presidential administrations, from Truman to George Bush Sr. Her daughter remembered Joan going to work in a skirt and high heeled shoes, only to put on her muck boots to go out on farm inspections throughout the day.

On June 18, 1950, Joan married Walter J. Powell at Pratt Memorial Methodist Church in Rockland. The pair were married for 21 years before Mr. Powell died unexpectedly in 1971 at the age of 44. Always determined, Joan continued her working career while raising her daughter. She officially retired in 1989. Her daughter remembers her mom as a great role model, someone who was very intelligent, business-minded, and a go-getter, while always friendly and caring at the same time. Over the years, Joan served as caregiver for her own parents and many aunts and uncles in their last days.

When not working, Joan loved to travel. She took many bus tours with her church and especially enjoyed the trips to the Amish country in Pennsylvania as well as New Orleans, where the music touched her soul. In 1992, she was pleased to have taken a tour through Europe with her dear friend Mrs. Daily and traveled to Aruba in 2005 with her daughter.

Music was an integral part of Joan’s life, especially choral music. For decades she was a member of the Rockland Congregational Church choir and was one of the original members of the Down East Singers. Serving on the board for many years, she also served as the group’s historian and participated in their recording of the "Liturgy of St. John." She was even able to combine her love of traveling and singing while on several tours with the Down East Singers all over the country.

Joan had a special place in her heart for animals, especially her two black cats, Smoki and Abby.

Predeceased by her parents, her husband, Walter, and a brother, Clifton E. Hunt, formerly of South Portland, Joan is survived by her daughter Cynthia Powell, and her partner, Lance Gosse, of Rockland; her brothers-in-law, Patrick Powell and his wife, Marie, Douglas Powell, John Powell and his wife, Annette; sisters-in-law Arvilla Collins and her husband, Michael, Beulah Tweedie, Helen Wall; her very good friends Linda and Jimmy Murray of Rockport; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Joan’s daughter would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to the caring and compassionate staff at Windward Gardens, Pen Bay Medical Center and  Sussman House for the outstanding care her mother received.

Family and friends are invited to visit from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. Private interment will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841.

To share a memory or condolence with Joan’s family, visit their Book of Memories at

Comments (1)
Posted by: Arvilla P Collins | Nov 15, 2017 17:13

No one could have had a more compassionate sister-in-law.  There were many times when I didn't know what to do about certain situations, and I would go to Joan and she always knew how to get me through it.  We all loved her dearly.  What a wonderful and caring daughter she raised!


Arvilla Collins

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