Charles M. Powell Jr., 70, transit authority supervisor

Charles M. Powell Jr., a retired Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority supervisor, died of a heart attack Aug. 6 at his Mitchellville home. He was 70.

Mr. Powell was born in Lutherville and raised on Druid Hill Avenue. As a youngster, he began singing with the Baltimore Boys Choir and his dream was to be a member of the boys choir at Father Flanagan's Boys Town in Nebraska.


Though not an orphan, Mr. Powell, a tenor, was allowed to enroll at Boys Town, from which he graduated in 1951. While with the choir, he performed at the Vatican in Rome and appeared on CBS television's The Ed Sullivan Show.

During the Korean War, he served as a gunner aboard the battleship USS Missouri.


In 1957, Mr. Powell went to work as a bus driver for the old D.C. Transit Co. in Washington, and became supervisor for passenger operations for the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority. He was named the transit agency's Employee of the Year in 1982 and retired in 1995.

Mr. Powell enjoyed mentoring neighborhood children. "And because of the age barrier, many of them who had difficulty talking to their parents came to my dad," said a daughter, Yolanda A. Powell of Baltimore.

Mr. Powell was a member of the Rotary Club of Washington, liked playing the organ and traveling, and was an avid reader.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today at St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church, 4502 Park Heights Ave.

He is also survived by another daughter, Peggy C. Powell of Baltimore; two stepsons, Wade Powell of Mitchellville and Eddie Powell of Hyattsville; two stepdaughters, Christina Van Buren of Columbia and Stephanie Campbell of Washington; and three brothers, Robert Ferguson, Spencer A. Key Sr. and Leon Eugene Key, and three sisters, Anne Ferguson, Jean Beckett and Betty Sims, all of Baltimore.

His marriages to the former Eleanor J. Alexander, Edith Powell and Esther Van Buren ended in divorce.