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December 18, 2013





Dear Mineman shipmates,


One of our close Mineman friends has been suddenly taken from us. Many of us knew and loved Jack Powell and realize that our expectation of seeing Jack at the 2014 Reunion will not materialize. I, for one, enjoyed his up-beat e-mails that go back several years. He will be sorely missed by Minemen everywere. His son-in-law, Capt. Marty McKown, USN (Ret) has kindly supplied the details of his legacy and passing.




Marty wrote: "I am writing on behalf of the family of one of your Minemen Association's members, Jack Allen Powell from Roanoke, Virginia.  I am his son-in-law, Marty McKown, retired Navy Captain and A6 Intruder Pilot.  Jack passed away on October 19th, and we would appreciate it very much if you would remember him in the "Taps" section of an upcoming issue of "The Dashpot."  For your use, I have pasted the text of his obituary that we provided the Roanoke newspaper and attached a recent picture taken of him during an interview regarding his post-Navy profession as a Revenuer for the State of Virginia, including his authoring of a series of books on the history of Moonshining called "A Dying Art".



October 6, 1933 ~ October 19, 2013 - Renowned Author, Lawman, Veteran, Husband, Father, Grandfather and Friend, Jack Allen Powell, 80, of Roanoke, Va., passed away suddenly from a heart condition on Saturday, October 19, 2013, while mowing on his beautiful mountain property and instantly joined his Lord and Savior.

Jack was born in Roanoke and attended Morningside Elementary, Stonewall Jackson Junior High and graduated from Jefferson High School in 1952. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy for a four year tour of duty during the Korean Conflict, rising to the rank of Mineman 3rd Class. 

He returned from serving his country to further serve his community as a law enforcement officer beginning as a Roanoke City policeman and then later as a Virginia State Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Division Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge (ASAC). After 35 years of dedicated service he retired in 1995 from the ABC, but continued to pursue his passion in law enforcement as a private investigator and Federal Courtroom Security Office (CSO) in the U.S. Marshall Service until 2004.

After a lifetime of service as lawman and "Revenuer," Jack began writing down the accounts of his exciting and illustrious career. He is widely recognized as an accomplished author, public speaker and storyteller, having published five books on the history of Moonshining and police work. His book, "A Dying Art," was republished over the years in versions I, II and III, along with other works including a postcard history of moonshining and "Roadblocks to Success," a public relations guide for police work. He was also often seen on the Discovery Channel, History Channel and CMT as a consultant to documentaries and "reality" shows related to the history and eradication of moonshining.

Jack was a member and President of the Piedmont Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), a Free Mason, lifetime member of Belmont Baptist Church, and member of the U.S. Navy Mineman Association. His education included an AAS, BS, and LLB from Virginia Western Community College and LaSalle Extension Law Institute. He was also a 1981 graduate of the National FBI Police Academy, Session 126, Quantico, Va. Jack was also an expert marksman and loved the outdoors through his experiences in the mountains of Virginia as a revenuer.

Jack, a true renaissance man, held great pride in his marriage to his beautiful wife, Mary Wright Powell, and had just celebrated 55 years with her on the day before he passed away. He leaves behind a legacy of pride and joy in two beautiful daughters, their husbands, six wonderful grandchildren and countless friends and colleagues he touched throughout his life. He set a steadfast example of faith, family, and fun for everyone to follow. He lived life abundantly and was an inspiration to all as a true servant to others and great storyteller of his life's learnings. His family adored, admired, and loved him deeply.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary Wright Powell, of Roanoke; daughters, Trenda Powell Jacocks, of Fairfax Station, Va., and Andra Powell McKown, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; sons, Army Colonel John M. Jacocks, M.D. and Navy Captain Martin H. McKown Jr.; six precious grandchildren, Brittany Virginia Jacocks, of New York, N.Y., Martin Hayes McKown III, of Pittsburgh, Pa., Mary Carter Jacocks, of Fairfax Station, Va., Air Force 2LT Connor Braxton McKown, of Del Rio, Texas, Army Cadet 1st Class Carson Lee McKown, of West Point, N.Y., and Air Force Cadet 4th Class Bailey Wright McKown, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; and his nephew, Allen Powell, of Roanoke.




Respectfully submitted


Derick S. Hartshorn

Communications Coordinator