Rick was born to CW4 Theo Lawrence and Valerie Barbara Powell, at Tooele Army Depot, Utah on Jan 11, 1953. He grew up in Bountiful, Utah where he learned to love sports from his mother. He excelled at skiing, was a ranked tennis player, played golf, loved to hike with his dog, Sam and was an AAU Swimmer for the University of Utah.
Before joining the Army, Rick attended West Point, but graduated from the University of Utah with a Degree in English Literature. Later, he received a Master's Degree in Logistics Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. He entered the service as a 2d Lt Quartermaster officer in 1975. His first duty assignment was to Korea. As a 6'4” bachelor and speaking only English and Spanish, he initially felt he was in Trilight Zone and made him think twice about a career in the Army. After two years, it was off to the 6th Cav Bde at Fort Hood and became the Battalion S4 and then the Brigade Supply Management Officer. From there he transferred to the Corps Maintenance Management Center as the Supply Staff Officer and, lastly, took company command at the 13th SUPCOM. Rick left Texas for Zweibrucken, Germany for 3 years, which he totally enjoyed. There he was the Chief, Readiness Branch followed by the Chief, Logistics Readiness. Bidding farewell to Schnitzel and wine, the Army sent him to attend Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS. It was supposed to be the best year of his life; wrong. Long hours and lots of work. Once again, retuned to Fort Hood, but this time to TEXCOM at West Ft Hood as the Chief, Logistics Division. Later, Rick transferred over to the 1Cav Div as their Civil Affairs Staff Officer. While in this position and, as a reward to putting up with the Texas heat and liking it, Rick was selected to attend Joint Military Professional Training in Virginia. Upon his return, Rick packed his bags to join a joint operation called Operation Provide Comfort, which provided support and relief to the Kurdish people. He found this to be one of the most satisfying jobs of his career. Rick's final assignment was at GITMO Cuba, where his Spanish speaking skills came in handy. After a little more than 20 years, Rick retired in 1996. He continued to support Army initiatives initially through Camber, Corporation for eleven years and then finally as the III Corps Historian at Ft Hood.
Heart disease was prevalent in Rick's family, but with the stresses and strains of military service, he thought he would break the cycle. Unfortunately, soon after retirement, he became very ill and required a heart transplant. He even made his mark in this arena. After receiving his transplant on Christmas Day, 1997, he went on to become one of the longest surviving transplant recipients in Texas at 22.5 years.
With this new lease on life, he became an active member of several local and fraternal organizations, especially the 13th COSCOM Association and the Central Texas Chapter of the West Point Society. He volunteered regularly at the Salado Public Library and was the Past President of the Cen-Tex Humane Society in Killeen. He attended St Stephen's Catholic Church. Rick lived with his son, Colin, in Salado, Texas for three years and involved himself in the community. He also frequently visited his daughter, Alyssa, in Crockett, Texas, where he made numerous friends and where he found joy in helping others. In Salado, Colin, his son, would often come home to find unexpected groceries delivered or chores finished around his property. Because he spent so much of the children's upbringing away, Rick relished being an “on duty” grandpa. Always ready to support with an adventure out, school pick up, shuddling to after school activities, procuring ice cream and/or cupcakes, Rick relived his youth frequently. He could also been seen at the Texas Stars ice hockey games with friends. Whitney and the grandchildren were known to join him, making these games particularly enjoyable.
In addition to his love of playing sports, Rick was an avid baseball (Baltimore Orioles), football (Dallas Cowboys), and ice hockey (Texas Stars) fan, attending all the games he could. He was also a military history buff, with a special interest in the Civil War. He read as many books, on a variety of other topics, as he could fit into his schedule. He enjoyed long walks with his constant and beloved canine companion, Red Dog, who is now happily a member of the Wooddell household.
Rick leaves behind his loving children Dr. Alyssa K. Powell, Colin L. Powell and Whitney Wooddell and her husband James Wooddell; grandchildren, Rylie Wood, Damien Perez, Kace Shipley, Asher Shipley; In-laws, Bob and Mary Love, along with many close and dear friends.
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Centex Humane Society
5501 Clear Creek Road, Killeen TX 76549