Vail Daily obituary: Charles Russell Powers, 1945-2014 |

Vail Daily obituary: Charles Russell Powers, 1945-2014

Charles Russell Powers was born June 1, 1945, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Gable Powers. His maternal grandparents and great-grandparents were Mr. and Mrs. Nicolas Walsh and Mr. and Mrs. James Walsh, respectively — old and distinguished families from Cincinnati, Ohio and Kentucky. They were the founders of the James Walsh Distillery at Lawrenceburg, Ind., in 1885. “Belcamp” was their ancestral home. His paternal grandparents were Mr. and Mrs. James Henry Powers of Hazelton, Pa., and Mr. and Mrs. William Francis Gable of Altoona, Pa., founders of the William F. Gable Co.

Charlie was educated at the Summit School and the Cincinnati Country Day School before going on to the Hill School, where his lifelong passion for athletics was sparked. He graduated in 1963 and went to Cornell University as a third-generation Cornelian and graduated in 1967. He was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity.

Charlie served in the United States Armed Forces with a tour of duty in Vietnam. He received numerous honors, including the Bronze Star. While in the reserves at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs he discovered a small ski village, Vail, and began to enjoy the mountains. He became a professional ski instructor in his 20s and soon became a professional tennis instructor in the summers to add to his great joy in teaching. At this time, he began his career in investments, specializing in real estate.

Charlie was an avid sportsman. A natural golfer, he enjoyed the camaraderie of his pals, the “Bagos,” a group of friends from New York, with whom he traveled each spring to Scotland, Ireland and to many other great courses of the world. Some of his happiest times were playing with his sons at St. Andrews in Scotland. Each year he enjoyed taking his young family on holiday to the Gasparilla Inn on Boca Grande, Florida, for fishing after their winter break at Sandy Lane in Barbados with their grandfather. Charlie was a strong and enthusiastic sailor and always looked forward to racing in Antigua with his friends from boyhood on the Whitehawk.

Charlie had a deep understanding and appreciation for music, his music library being as diverse as he — tunes from show songs, the classics, our Episcopal Church hymnals and rock and roll all rang out from his stereo that he expertly designed and installed himself. He was a marvelous dancer and almost always last on the dance floor. He was known as a kind and gentle man — charming to the end.

Support Local Journalism

Charlie was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Vail and served on the vestry with the Rev. Bruce Montcrief as rector. One of the most beautiful edifices to be built because of the family largesse was St. Mary’s Basilica — the magnificent “Cathedral of the Chimes” in Covington, Ky. — styled after Notre Dame in Paris.

He was a member of the Metropolitan Club of New York, the Harvard Club of New York and the Camargo Club of Cincinnati, Ohio.

An intimate family service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Delray Beach, Florida, and a private service will be held at grave side in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Charlie is survived by his wife, Martha Henrietta (Whitehead) Powers; two sons, John Whitehead Powers and Russell Whitehead Powers; his brother, Lowell Gable Powers, Jr., of Newport, Rhode Island; Mr. and Mrs. Edward James Smith; Mr. and Mrs. William A. Lawson Smith; and his niece Miss Julia Smith, all of Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Support Local Journalism