Karl was born November 28, 1964 to Pennell “Pete” Powell and Kay Hamelwright Powell, and returned to his parents on January 12, 2019, just two weeks to the day after his Mom passed away and went ahead to put the finishing touches on his homecoming.
When Mom contracted German Measles while pregnant, the family knew Karl could be born with challenges, but we did not yet know how his special needs would bless and shape the lives of so many. Karl was the youngest of 8 children, was adored and protected by his siblings, and his parents would dedicate the rest of their lives to his love and care. Karl’s diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy would only be the beginning of his medical issues, and he would lose his sight to glaucoma at 6 years old. There were numerous times we feared we would lose him, but through all his challenges he remained cheerful and a source of joy to all those who knew him. Karl had a warm, loving personality, and people were drawn to him — he enjoyed countless friends and a wonderful life. He was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his parents were so proud of him when he went on to earn his Eagle Scout Award. We are grateful for every one of the 54 years we were blessed with his love and influence, and for the enduring lessons he taught each one of us.
Karl not only taught us why the chicken crossed the road, but he taught us not to judge people by their limitations. He was the greatest example of love, joy, acceptance of God’s will, and endurance, that any of us have ever been blessed to know and love. His spirit was unlike any other, and he touched the lives of all who came into contact with him, especially little children.
We will miss his laughter, his Eskimo kisses, his jokes, making sure we were wearing shoes with laces, putting on hats before we left to go visit, his long prayers where you listened for your name, and his reminder of what is truly important in life — but in death, as in life, he is ever teaching us and focusing us on the bigger picture. We are comforted and overjoyed as we imagine the reunion that took place with his parents, as they ran to embrace one another; not only together, but whole.
Karl was survived (and loved fiercely) by his devoted big brothers and sisters Teresa, Mike, Judy (Jerry), Jeff (Wendy), Karine (Robert), and Kerry (Karen); and countless relatives and loved ones who were changed for the better for knowing him.
Karl was preceded in death by, and reunited joyously with his loving, dedicated parents; his brother, Burns; sister-in-law Cheri; nieces, April and Heather; and his great nephew, Collin.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff and residents of Foundations for Independence, the Work Activity Center, and to the many medical professionals, caregivers, teachers, and friends who blessed Karl’s life.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 19th, 11:00 a.m., at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road, with a viewing immediately preceding at 10:00 a.m. Interment to follow at Valley View Memorial Park.