School 04
Official Obituary of

Elizabeth "Jackie" Powell

September 2, 2023

Elizabeth "Jackie" Powell Obituary

On September the 2nd, 2023, Elizabeth “Jackie” Powell walked on to join many elders eagerly awaiting

her from the “other side.” Jackie was born on April 16, 1928 to parents Henry and Margaret

Powell, each of whom was a physician in Colorado Springs. Jackie’s parents were an inspiration

to her and she fondly remembered riding horses with family members in the Garden of the

Gods, a spectacular and massive rock formation right near her home in Colorado Springs.

Jackie graduated from Wellesley College in 1949 and continued her study of history as she

earned her Master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin. Teaching history brought Jackie into

the world of education and was always her first academic focus. Jackie was a scholar regarding

the U.S. Constitution and she loved that working with young people kept her sense for the

Constitution “fresh and always open to interpretation.”

Jackie’s mother was a trailblazer as a female physician and Jackie followed her mother’s

example by working in schools as a teacher and administrator dedicated to educational

excellence for young women. Jackie was a faculty member at the Ethel Walker School, the

Northfield School for Girls and Mercersburg Academy. Mercersburg became a coeducational

school in 1970 and the school wanted Jackie to help them become a great school for both boys

and girls and to develop a counseling program. Jackie’s leadership helped the school combine

its academic excellence with equitable and caring foundations. Jackie was wonderfully

successful as an educator and leader at each of her three schools.

Outside of her work, Jackie led a full and vibrant life. She had an adventurous spirit and greatly

enjoyed her travels abroad, time spent each summer by the beach in Maine, and holiday visits

with her family in Massachusetts and Ohio. She brought a love of music to her daily life and

took full advantage of the many musical offerings of her adopted city of Pittsburgh. She

especially loved performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony and the River City Brass Band. Jackie

was active throughout her life in golf, tennis, political causes, and her church communities. She

was fascinating and well-rounded in her interests, enjoying a ballgame at Pirates Stadium as

much as an intellectual debate with friends and colleagues. She was exceptionally generous

with her time and attention, always eager to volunteer in her community or help a friend in

need. Those who had the pleasure of knowing Jackie know she was remarkably grounded,

humble and kind. She was quick to laugh and her sense of humor was sharp as a tack!

Jackie is survived by many beloved family members and dear friends who will remember and

love her always. May her legacy serve to remind us all to live lives of purpose, curiosity,

gratitude, generosity and love.

A memorial service for Jackie will be held at Longwood at Oakmont at a date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Jackie’s honor can be made to The Oakmont

Presbyterian Church, The Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh, or the Greater Pittsburgh

Community Food Bank. Arrangements by John A. Freyvogel Sons, Inc. (

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