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Philip N. Powell, retired mechanical engineer, dies

Philip N. Powell, a retired mechanical engineer and an active member of the Episcopal Church, died in his sleep Saturday at his home in Ruxton. He was 88.

Philip Noble Powell was born in Charlottesville, Va., the son of the Rev. Noble C. Powell, the Episcopal Bishop of Maryland from 1943 to 1963, and Mary Rustin Powell, a homemaker.

In 1931, he moved with his family from Charlottesville to a home on East Eager Street, then to Washington in 1937 when his father was named dean of the Washington National Cathedral.

He returned to Baltimore in 1943. He attended Gilman School, and graduated in 1948 from Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Mass.

He received a bachelor’s degree in 1952 from the University of Virginia, and in 1960 graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Mr. Powell’s engineering expertise was concentrated on hydraulic and pneumatic engineering. He retired from Walter Rankin & Co.

A longtime communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton, he was a former president of the Churchman’s Club.

Mr. Powell enjoyed working on home improvement projects at his home on L’Hirondelle Club Road, and also liked reading history.

“He liked projects that he could only improve himself,” said a daughter, Missy Adams of Ruxton, with a laugh.

Mr. Powell spent spring weekends volunteering with the annual Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage. He also liked hiking though the Blue Ridge Mountains and staying in a family cabin that had been built by his father in Virginia.

He was a member of the L’Hirondelle Club and the Bachelors’ Cotillon.

A memorial service for Mr. Powell will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 19 at his church, 1401 Carrollton Ave., Ruxton.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Powell is survived by his wife of 64 years, the former Margaret Morris; a son, Noble Powell of the Phoenix community of Baltimore County; two other daughters, Molly Finney of Reisterstown and Margaret Bryant of White Hall; a brother, Dr. Thomas Hooker Powell of Baltimore; and seven grandchildren.

—Frederick N. Rasmussen

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