Merle Powers

(Feb. 18, 1942 - Sept. 11, 2021)


Merle L. Powers died on Sept. 11, 2021, at his home with family in Powell.

Merle was born on Feb. 18, 1942, to Merle and Norma (McDowell) Powers in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Merle married Roberta Anne Warpness in June 1960, and they had two daughters, Nancy and Connie. Merle married Joanna Eichler in December 1977, and he became a stepfather to Wendi, Angie and Jodee Winter. Merle and Joanna remained best friends until his passing.

Merle began his career as an apprentice electrician for Amoco. He became a partner with Leonard Whitlock in Whitlock Construction before working with Clay Miller at Clay’s Electric. Merle served as an electrical inspector for Amoco in Evanston, then for ExxonMobil at the LaBarge Project in southern Wyoming.

Merle spent the rest of his professional career as ExxonMobil’s lead electrical inspector on onshore and offshore platform projects in Santa Barbara, California, Beaumont and Houston, Texas, as well as overseas in Spain and South Korea.

Merle took pride in a job well done both at work and at home. A walk-through of Merle’s shop or a ride in his vehicle quickly showed that organization and preparation were second nature to him.

When home, Merle enjoyed spending time with his wife Joanna, camping, working on the yard and house and entertaining family and friends. He and Joanna enjoyed garage sales and Merle often came home with broken items and made them work again.

Merle leaves his wife of 44 years, Joanna (Eichler) Powers; his favorite cat Bootz; his sister Mary Jane Hall of Powell; daughters, Nancy (Powers) and Les Benner of Billings, Montana, Connie (Powers) and Michael Purcell of Billings, Montana, Wendi (Winter) and Eric Robirds of Powell, Angie (Winter) and Johnny Pitts of Mountain View, Wyoming, and Jodee Winter of Edmonds, Washington; brother-in-law Chuck Mathis; grandchildren Jason, Kyle, Brittany, Jennifer, Jessica, Eyob, Yared, Skye, Dakota, Jade, Logyn and Makoy; and great-grandchildren Cooper, Audrey, Rylee, Hadley, Beckett, Lawson, Macallister, Ezekiel and Quinley. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Norlene (Powers) Mathis of Cody.

A viewing will be held in Powell at Thompson Funeral Home beginning at 9 a.m., on Friday, Sept. 17, with graveside services following at 10 a.m. 

Cards can be sent to P.O. Box 807 in Powell and condolences expressed at