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“I had the privilege of knowing Mr. Powers in his capacity as Secretary of the USMC 8th Defense Battalion Reunion Organization. My father served in...Read More »
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James Hugh Powers, age 93, a Needham Town Meeting member for over 60 years, passed away on Jan 27, 2017 in Needham, MA.
Born in Cambridge, Jim graduated with honors from Browne & Nichols School in 1942 and was admitted in the fall of 1942 to Harvard University. He left Harvard for military service in March 1943 and returned to college in Feb 1946 and graduated in 1949 as a member of the Class of 1946, with an AB in History, government and economics. He also completed a U.S. Foreign Service Institute, Special Program in 1949. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, Marine 8th Defense (AAA) Battalion, from March 1943 until his honorable discharge in November 1945. While with the Marines, Jim was involved with the defense of Apemama, Gilbert Islands, was stationed in Hawaii, on stand by for Iwo Jima, and in 1945 participated in the Battle of Okinawa. Marine Corp veteran of WW II (1943-45), served mostly in Marine 8th Defense (AAA) Battalion, in the Gilbert Islands, Hawaii and in the Invasion of Okinawa. He served from 1972 -2005 as Secretary of the Marine 8th Defense & AAA Battalion Reunion Assoc.
Jim was elected to the Needham Town Meeting in March 1951 and had continuously served until his final term ended. He served on numerous boards and committees for the town, including Salary and Wage, Public Building Study, Selectman's Advisory, Home Rule Charter Study, Advisory Council of Glover Memorial Hospital, Special Committee on School Finance. He provided on-going professional research assistance to Town boards and committees on a volunteer basis, played a significant role in the development of the Town Government's personnel system and was very active in charter reform for the Town. He also contributed significantly to the work of the Needham Historical Society. His unpaid, volunteer service to his home town of Needham, included 60 years as a member of its municipal legislative body, were recognized in 2012 when the town named its Town Meeting Auditorium, "Powers Hall" in his honor.
Jim worked for 38 years at the Massachusetts State House serving as Executive Secretary of the Special Commission on the Structure of the State Government, the Fiscal Survey Commission and retired as the Chief Research Analyst for the Legislative Research Bureau.
He was a member of the AL Post # 14, Needham, the Marine Corps Assoc., Navy League of the United States, VFW, Lt. Manson H Carter Post No. 2498 Needham, Friends of the Needham Public Library and the Richard P. Melick Foundation.
Jim was the son of the late James H. and Anne (Campbell) Powers and brother of the late John C. Powers, and U.S. Army Sgt. Peter C. Powers, who was killed in action in WW II during the Battle of the Bulge. He is survived by his nephews, Joshua Powers and Ian Powers and their families.
Interment with Military Honors was held privately.
A service in remembrance of Jim will be held in Powers Hall at the Needham Town Hall on Sun Sept 24 at Noon.

Upcoming Funeral Services

Sunday, September 24
12:00 PM    3485169 3582792 20170924T120000

Powers Hall at Needham Town Hall

1471 Highland Ave. Needham, MA 02492