Sharon Powell, 82, of Tomah passed away Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, at Aster Memory Care in Cottage Grove, Wis. She was born July 28, 1937, in Whitehall, to Melvin and Erna (Senty) Luethi, growing up on the family farm in the town of Montana, Buffalo County, Wis. She was actively involved in church, school, 4H and the farm and graduated as salutatorian at Arcadia High School, class of 1955. Sharon pursued college at UW-LaCrosse, where she earned her bachelors degree in both physical education and history in 1959, graduating with distinction.
Her first teaching job was in Boscobel, Wis., where she met Lawrence (Larry) Powell. They were united in marriage July 9, 1961, at the town of Montana Methodist Church. She then worked as a physical education teacher in several school districts, while following Larry's career in Wisconsin, while having two sons, Scott and Jeffrey. When the family settled in Tomah in 1971, she began her 27-year teaching career with the Tomah School District. Sharon was a steadfast and caring mentor, coach and teacher to many students who loved and respected her.
Her philosophy was firm but fair, with lots of positive reinforcement. She was a compassionate educator, co-worker and friend to many. And she will be remembered particularly for teaching co-ed dance in gym class, as well as other "life skill" classes, such as archery, cross country skiing, fishing and golf.
She was a dedicated member of the First United Methodist Church in Tomah, as well as involved in several other organizations. And she loved to play golf with her family and bowl with the ladies, in between cooking and keeping her house and property ship shape! She also enjoyed playing the piano (nearly to the end) and singing in the church choir. She really enjoyed the time spent with her grandchildren (both in Wisconsin and Texas) and was very proud of the strong, smart and loving young adults they have become. She also loved her friends dearly and spent time with them doing various productive activities, as none of her activities were unproductive! And she was absolutely dedicated to the Tomah Food Pantry, enjoying stocking the shelves and helping out where she could in her retirement years.
Despite her high level of physical activity, Sharon had heart issues that were surgically treated, which provided her with a massive energy boost and wonderful life for many years after age 50.
However, many underlying symptoms remained that effectively led to her having to deal with vascular dementia and all that goes with that disease later in life. The family would like to recognize unnamed angels that work at the Tomah Post Office and Walmart, that helped prevent Mother from being scammed, various good-hearted neighbors, friends and care-givers, that helped Sharon out after Larry passed in 2014, the fantastic care provided for her by all of the Aster Memory Care staff, since March of 2017, Dr. Anne Niebler and her staff at the Cottage Grove UW Health Medical clinic, for the most compassionate elder care available, and for the amazing angels that helped carry the load the last few months, from Agrace Hospice, Fitchburg, Wis.
She is survived by her children, son, Scott (Denise) of Oconomowoc, Wis., son, Jeffrey (Patricia) of Orange City, Iowa; and grandchildren, Miranda (Nicholas) Hunzinger of Pewaukee, Wis., Alexander (Briannia) of Milwaukee and Perry, Sarah and Rebekah of Orange City; her sister, Janice (Ed) Brost of Cottage Grove; brothers, Bob (Pat) Luethi of Independence and Jack (Pat) Luethi, town of Montana; and sisters-in-law, Shirley Conley of Anderson, S.C., and Connie (Floyd) Winchel of Deerfield; as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Melvin and Erna; her stepmother, Sarah (Erna's sister); her husband, Larry; and her brother, Gary; as well as several sisters and brothers-in-law.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, with visitation beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Tomah. Pastor Krysta Deede will officiate. There will be an afternoon church luncheon provided right after the service. Subsequently a private burial will be held in the La Grange Cemetery, Tomah.
The Torkelson Funeral Home of Tomah is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are available at www.torkelsonfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers or donation, the family would appreciate memorials be sent to either the Tomah First United Methodist Church, 1105 Butts Ave, Tomah, WI 54660; or to the AGrace Hospice and Palliative Care, 5395 East Cheryl Pkwy., Fitchburg, WI 53711.