Cover photo for Thomas E. Powers Sr.'s Obituary
Thomas E. Powers Sr. Profile Photo

Thomas E. Powers Sr.

October 18, 1929 — May 4, 2023

Thomas E. Powers, Sr. (93), formerly of Reading, PA; died May 4, 2023 at Ohio Living Dorothy Love Retirement Community (Sidney, Ohio).

Mr. Powers graduated from Reading (PA) Central Catholic High School 1947; Columbia University 1951; and served for 4 ½ years in the US Air Force during the Korean War (as a B-29 Navigator) until honorably discharged in 1956. He attended Harvard Business School then married Marlene Anne Ziegler (also of Reading, PA; deceased 12/2008) in 1958. His work career spanned 38 years in metalworking, plastics, oil, automotive & distribution industries, and business management consulting.

Mr. Powers founded 2 high school booster clubs and was a member of several Alumni Associations, the Rotary Club and was a lifetime member of the VFW and Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA). During his 21+ year
residence at Ohio Living Dorothy Love Retirement Community (DLRC); Sidney, Ohio, he organized the community’s “perpetual garage sale”, in which all proceeds went to the Employee Christmas Fund. In addition, for most of his time at DLRC, Mr. Powers was known as the “Trainman” of Sidney, Ohio; where he shared his love for model trains with anyone interested.

Mr. Powers excelled in 5 sports during high school; and in college (Columbia University) played basketball and baseball. During his senior year, Mr. Powers was the starting guard on the 1951 Columbia Lions Basketball team that had a 21-0 regular season record, a 31-game winning streak and was ranked #3 in the country. In addition, they were the first team in history to begin the NCAA Tournament with an undefeated record. In October 1995 he was inducted into the Pennsylvania State Sports Hall of Fame; in October 2008 his ’51 team was inducted into the Columbia University HOF.; and in February 2016 he was inducted into the Berks County (PA) Basketball HOF.

He is the son of George & Francis Powers (Reading, PA; both deceased) and is survived by his son Thomas E. Powers, Jr. (Cincinnati, OH) and his daughter Tracey (Powers) Erkkila; Son-in-Law Tomi Erkkila; and grandchildren Emma, Kasperi, and Niklas (Helsinki, Finland).

Visitation will be held on Friday, October 20, 2023 from 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm at Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. 2100 Perkiomen Avenue, Reading PA 19606. Services and inurnment will follow at 1:30 pm at Forest Hills Memorial Park, 390 W. Neversink Road, Reading, PA 19606. Initial arrangements by Chiles & Sons (Lima, Ohio). Final arrangements by Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. For online condolences, please visit In lieu of flowers, please send a donation the Employee Christmas Fund, c/o Executive Director, Dorothy Love Retirement Community, 3003 W. Cisco Road, Sidney, Ohio 45365.
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