We received news yesterday that our long time friend and photographer Dick Powers passed away Saturday.
Dick started taking photos for Meadows even before we opened. He met Meadows founder Franklin Drake on the mountain in 1967 when Frank was scoping out the permit area, and has been documenting the winter recreational experiences, growth and development of Mt. Hood Meadows ever since. Proudly, most of the imagery in our lodges was shot by Dick Powers.
Dick was a member of the legendary 10th Mountain Division. He proudly served for the better part of 30 years and retired from the Army, returning to Portland with his wife Jean to raise their family. Dick was a photographer and videographer for Portland State University, and he also photographed many of the major events in Portland such as the Rose Festival and Indy Car Races.
But he had a special passion for mountains that attracted him to Meadows. He continued to ski and shoot at Meadows into his 80s, and even after would come up to document summer improvements and winter events.
Advancing age brought on many physical health challenges, which Dick faced with dignity, determination and his indomitable spirit. He continued to live in his home, assisted by his loving wife Jean and their daughters. In 2007 Jean and Dick were honored for their charitable work with the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Oregon and Southwest Washington (see the Portland Tribune article). Dick was quoted, "The word 'retirement' doesn't mean to me what it means to other people,' Dick said. 'I didn't want to be an old retired soldier.”
This from a man who continued to thrive, photograph, love his family, travel, ski and serve for 50 years after “retiring.”
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.
Our Mt. Hood Meadows family extends our heart felt condolences to Jean, Dick's wife of nearly 70 years and his family. It was our honor to have known Dick and for him to be a part of our family.
Dick was a big part of the 40th Anniversary video we put together in 2008. He shot most of the archival film footage and photos and even kicked off the video with his eloquent description of capturing the beauty of this mountain. Dick's service to Mt. Hood Meadows was recognized by founder Franklin Drake at the 40th Anniversary party in January, 2008, at which the video was debuted.
See Part 2 See Part 3