Alfred-Mike Powers, 71, passed away following a brief and unexpected illness on Friday, Jan. 23, at Rochester General Hospital.
Most recently, he was enjoying retired life by traveling to Rome and China with his wife, exhibiting his art work, maintaining a studio practice at the Wellsville Creative Arts Center and doting on his three grandchildren.
Mike was a cheerful and generous husband, father and grandfather and led a long career as a dedicated art professor. He loved wordplay, scouring antique shops for hidden treasures, playing the piano – everything from Chopin to show tunes to the Sesame Street theme – and decorating the home with palm trees in an effort to provide a tropical feel to winter’s frigidity.
Born on Aug. 23, 1943, in Conshohocken, Pa., to Paul and Alice Powers, James Michael “Mike” Powers attended St. Mathew’s High School in Conshohocken and Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia.
After graduation from Tyler, he joined the Peace Corps and traveled to Botswana, where he met his wife, Catherine “Cathy” Murray. They were married in Africa in 1968. After completing his three-year service in the Peace Corps, the couple moved to Ambler, Pa., and Mike returned to Tyler, where he received his masters in fine art.
Following a short high school teaching career, Mike accepted a position at Genesee Community College in Batavia, N.Y., where he taught ceramics and metalsmithing for 33 years and raised his children, Sarah and Angus Powers.
Mike attended his children’s weddings and welcomed son-in-law Jack Hagel and daughter-in-law Amy (née Britt) Powers to the family. After retiring from teaching, Mike and Cathy moved to Alfred, N.Y., to help raise their first granddaughter, Rona Powers. They instantly became a part of the Alfred Village and surrounding areas.
When their first grandson, Max Hagel, was born in 2011, Mike and Cathy began splitting their time between Alfred and Raleigh, N.C., where Max and his family reside.
Mike returned to Alfred to support his family when his third grandchild, Isla Mae Powers, passed just a month before her due date. His soul was mended when he met Faye Maggie Powers two years later.
Mike was pre-deceased by sisters-in-law Diane Powers, Joanne Powers, and granddaughter Isla Powers.
He is survived by his wife, Catherine Powers of Alfred; his daughter, Sarah Powers, son-in-law Jack Hagel and grandson Max Hagel of Raleigh, N.C..; son Angus Powers, daughter-in-law Amy Powers and granddaughters Rona and Faye of Alfred Station.
He is also survived by his sister, Nancy Sheridan, brother-in-law Richard Sheridan; brother Bernard Powers and sister-in-law Mary Beth; brother William Powers; brother Francis Powers; sister Marie-Alice Powers; uncle John and aunt Teasie McGuiggin. He is also survived by seven nieces and nephews and their eight children.
The family is grateful for the kind, supportive and expert care they received at Dr. Ashdown and his staff, the Hornell Fire Department medics, Dr. John Robshaw, Nurse Teri and the ER staff at St. James Mercy, as well as the flight crew and staff at RGH.
To send a remembrance, please visit www.brownandpowersfuneralhomes.com.
A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday January 29th from 5-7pm at the Wellsville Creative Arts Center, 124 North Main Street, Wellsville, NY 14895.