- Written by Ben Jacklet
- Category: Mountain Characters
- Published: February 12, 2015
- Last Updated: February 17, 2015
Family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of the great Mount Hood photographer and popular Oregon character Dick Powers last weekend at a jam-packed memorial service at the main gym of Portland State University's Stott Center.
Powers, a World War Two veteran who served in the 10th Mountain Division in Italy, photographed Mount Hood with a sense of gentle respect for more than four decades, and his stately black and white images still adorn the main lodge at Mt. Hood Meadows.
Here is a beautiful Dick Powers composition courtesy of Dave Tragethon and Meadows, showing the Blue Chair in 1970:
Mt. Hood Meadows President Matthew Drake and Tragethon both spoke at the emotional memorial service for Powers on Sunday.
Tragethon said that when he first met Powers 20 years ago, "It was his enthusiasm for the mountain and for his craft that first struck me. Whether it was shooting faces for our orientation videos, or shooting the face of Mt. Hood, he brought the same professionalism, energy and passion to his work."
In addition to his work as a photographer, Powers was also a decorated war veteran and a family man whose life and adventures were fondly remembered at the service by his daughters Ellen Driscoll, Debbie Metzler, Beth Powers and Martha Rainey.
During WW II, Powers fought with the legendary 10th Mountain Division in Italy, earning the Bronze Star for meritorious service in combat in the Apennine Mountains and the Po Valley.
After the war, he married Jean Autrey, and the couple settled in Portland, where Dick opened the Gresham Sport Shop. He returned to active duty in 1949, and served as commander of the Military Police in Seoul during the Korean War.
From 1958 to 1963, Dick served as an instructor at the U.S. Army Cold Weather and Mountain School in Ft. Greely, Alaska.
In 1965, he retired from the Army with the rank of lieutenant colonel and returned to Portland to pursue a career as a photographer. He started his own business, Powers Photos n' Video, and created movies, videos and still photography for Mt. Hood Meadows, the Portland Rose Festival and Portland State University's athletic department.
His work with Meadows began even before the resort first opened in 1967. He was friends with Meadows founder Franklin Drake and a beloved character around the mountain for many years. In a remembrance published on the Meadows website, Tragethon wrote:
We will miss Dick Powers, but he will not be forgotten. His talent, contribution and devotion to this company are well documented, with every picture he took, photo he framed and video he produced. And while Dick would say all he did was take pictures, his loyalty, his can-do approach, his strong yet gentle demeanor helped shape this company. He did more than capture Mt. Hood Meadows on film. He helped create what we have become.
Dick Powers died on Jan. 17, 2015, with his wife and daughters by his side. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Jean Autrey Powers; his daughters Ellen Driscoll, Debbie Metzler, Beth Powers and Martha Rainey; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Donations in his honor may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or to Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Here is a video memorial to Dick Powers edited by Craig Adkins, from Dave Tragethon and Mt. Hood Meadows: