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Jean (Robinson) Powell

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
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On the evening of Feb. 17, 2020, Jean Powell passed away as the result of a stroke. She was surrounded by her family and close friends, and they were blessed to spend some days together talking and sharing stories, music, tears, laughter, and so much love. Jean was 84 years old.

Jean (Robinson) Powell was born on Sept. 7, 1935 in Livingston, Montana to Richard and Gertrude (Cook) Robinson in the maternity hospital of her grandmother, Ellen (Allen) Robinson, who was the first resident nurse of Park County. 

365体育投注官网After an unforgettable trip to Europe with her college friend Andrea, Jean returned home and in 1960, married the man she loved, Donald R. Powell, of Livingston. Soon the couple left for Portland, Oregon, where their eldest daughter, Tamala Jo, was born, but moved back to Montana for the births of their son, David Michael and second daughter, Lesley Anne. Eventually, the family settled in White Sulphur Springs, not far from their hometown. 

365体育投注官网In 1973, the family moved to Big Timber, Montana, where Jean became Montana’s first woman offset press operator, working for the Big Timber Pioneer and the Buckskin Press. She applied her photographic skills to both enterprises and went on to win a photography contest in France. Unfortunately, Jean could not travel to France for her award because of a decline in her health. In 1990 she was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue.

Following this, Jean started the Montana Celiac Society and began her life’s work in earnest, researching and distributing vital medical and dietary materials to desperate patients, doctors, schools, and food suppliers. She wrote articles, edited a monthly newsletter, compiled a manual for physicians, published books, brochures, pamphlets, and information packets for new patients. Jean spent countless hours coordinating and advocating for people who needed her expert help. Jean received awards for her work at MCS, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Dietetics Association of Montana, and 19 credits from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Despite tremendous adversity, Jean never lost her infectious joy of life, nor her unrelenting desire to help others.

Jean was preceded in death by her 14-month-old great-grandchild, Chamomile Jo Gonzalez McCord; mother and father, Gertrude (Cook) Robinson Bauer and Richard Henry Robinson; beloved aunt, Addie (Cook) Orser Nicholson Schultz; cherished grandmothers, Ellen and Katherine; and her lifelong friend Marlys (Syvertson) Werle.

Jean is survived by her husband, Donald R. Powell, of Bozeman, Montana; three children, Tamala (Pete) Powell of Bozeman, David (Jana Noel) Powell of Sacramento, California, and Lesley Anne Shelton of Port Townsend, Washington; grandsons, Rio (Andrea) Gonzalez McCord of Butte, Montana and Jerry Shelton of Seattle, Washington; great-grandson, Ezra (McCord) Shanafelt of Butte; sisters, Lila “Punky” Robinson, and Pat (Elaine) Sakalaris of Miles City, Montana; cousins, Ardith (and daughters, Ketha and Alexa) Robinson Carratt of Grandview, Washington and David (Kathy, and daughters, Kelsey and Natalie) Robinson of Seattle, Washington; brother-in-law, Kenneth (Shirley) Powell of Whitefish, Montana; niece, Kenna Powell of Scottsdale, Arizona; nephews, Gary (Lisa) Powell of Surprise, Arizona and Reese Powell of Great Falls, Montana; great-nephew, Austin Powell of Great Falls; great-niece, Heidi (Powell) Vanamann of Whitefish; and many other adored relatives and friends.

A Summer Celebration of Jean’s Life is planned for the last weekend of June 2020 in Livingston, Montana.

Condolences and memorials may be sent to the home of Don and Jean Powell at 1019 S. Bozeman Ave., Apt. #3, Bozeman, Montana 59715. In lieu of flowers, however, the family asks that donations be made to a nonprofit Celiac organization of choice. Please visit for full obituary and to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Jean.

365体育投注官网Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Jean and her family.

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