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Faces of COVID: Father, grandfather and great-grandfather remembered as loving

Family remembers Richard Don ‘Dick’ Powell
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Posted at 6:14 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 18:16:14-05

Thousands of Hoosiers have died since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020 and we know — they're more than just numbers. If you've lost a loved one to COVID-19 and want to share their story reach out to us at FacesOfCovid@wrtv.com.

Richard Don ‘Dick’ Powell was very active for his age.

“How many 83-year-old men do you know that can work 12-hour shifts at FedEx, at night, on the dock, and then go with no sleep to meet his buddies at the golf course,” said Tracey Kaufman, Powell’s daughter.

Kaufman says her father was proud of being the provider for their family. When she was growing up, she remembers he was stern as a father, yet loving and attentive.

The last several years, any free time he had, was spent with his great-granddaughter, Braylee. Kaufman says he would give her horseback rides around the house, and get down on his knees and dance with her.

“She was the apple of his eye,” said Kaufman.

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In October of 2020, Powell needed a procedure done on his heart. He was in and out of the hospital throughout that month due to complications. During one stay, a doctor noticed Powell was having trouble breathing. The 83-year-old learned he had COVID-19 and pneumonia.

Kaufman says her father was already very weak due to the complications with his earlier procedure.

“He called me and said that the doctors told him there was no hope. He was not going to leave the hospital,” said Kaufman.

Powell chose not to be put on a ventilator and was put on hospice care.

“When he told me that he wasn’t going to make it he was really upset and crying and told me that he had a great 83 years he just wasn’t ready to leave my mom, me, and Braylee,” said Kaufman.

During his brief time in hospice, he would call his family but refused to do any video chats on his smartphone.

“He didn’t want to see me or my mom, he didn’t want to do any videos because he didn’t want us to have our last memories of him like that,” said Kaufman.

Richard Don ‘Dick’ Powell died on November 2nd. Just shy of he and his wife’s 49 year wedding anniversary. Powell was 83 years old.

“Everybody talks about them being alone and all this which is true. But for me, COVID-19, it took him emotionally, it took him mentally, and then it finally took him physically. The vibrant man that he was, it just robbed him of it and it broke my heart,” said Kaufman.

MORE STORIES | We're honoring the memories of these Hoosiers who died with COVID-19