In Memory

Marjorie Rynaski (Powers) VIEW PROFILE

Nov 9, 1917 - Feb 21, 2013

Preceded in death by husband, John J. Powers; sisters, Catherine Rynaski, Julia Krasovec; brother, Lawrence "Bud" Rynaski; parents, John and Helen Rynaski; and grandson-in-law, Jason Martin. She is survived by sons, John Powers, Seattle, Daniel Powers, Lincoln, Vincent (Alison) Powers, Lincoln, Edward (Leslie) Powers, New York City, James (Mary) Powers, Omaha; daughter, Mary Powers, St. Louis; ten grandchildren, Loucile Powers Martin, Norton, OH, Courtney Powers, Lincoln, John, Natalie, Andrew and Jamie Powers, all of New York City, Katherine, Edward, Margaret and John Powers, all of Omaha; and three great-grand-children, Mary Caroline, Marguerite and Theodore Martin, Norton, OH.

Marjorie grew up in South Omaha, where her parents owned and operated a grocery store at 25th & Bancroft. She was Salutatorian of South High School and graduated from Creighton University in 1940 with a degree in journalism. It was there that she met her husband, John, whom she married on November 12th, 1942. Marjorie and John lived in Ogallala before returning to Omaha in 1959 and settling in Dundee. She was a member of Saint Margaret Mary's parish, where she sent all six of her children. Her five sons graduated from Creighton Prep and her daughter graduated from Marian High School. Marjorie was proud that all six children graduated from law school and became practicing attorneys. After her children were grown, Marjorie obtained her teaching certificate and substituted for Omaha Public Schools for several years and eventually worked full time at Omaha Technical High School. Marjorie taught English and Journalism at Tech and is remembered by many former students as a positive influence. Marjorie was always active in the Democratic Party, and her son Vincent is currently State Chairman. She was an active member for many years of League of Women Voters.

Marjorie donated her body, as did her husband before her, to Creighton University Medical School.

PUBLIC MEMORIAL SERVICE AND ROSARY Friday, March 1 at John A. Gentleman Mortuary, 1010 North 72nd Street, Omaha, (402) 391-1664.

VISITATION with the family 5-7pm, with the WAKE SERVICE beginning at 7pm. Donations may be made in lieu of flowers to Creighton Preparatory School, 7400 Western Ave., Omaha, NE 68114; Marian High School, 7400 Military Ave., Omaha, NE 68134; or The Macula Society, a macular degeneration charity, 3401 Enterprise Parkway Suite 310, Cleveland, OH 44122.

Former teacher Marjorie Powers could hold her own in a political debate

By Sue Story Truax

A memorial service will be Friday for Marjorie Rynaski Powers, widow of a lawyer, mother of six lawyers - including the Nebraska chairman of the Democratic Party - and grandmother of two lawyers.

She died Thursday at Hillcrest Country Estates in Papillion from complications after breaking her hip, said son James Powers of Omaha. She was 95.  A public memorial service and rosary for Marjorie Powers will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at John A. Gentleman Mortuary, 1010 N. 72nd St.

"She was proud of her kids going to law school," her son said.

When her children were grown, Marjorie Powers got her teaching certificate and was a substitute teacher several years for the Omaha Public Schools. She eventually was hired full time to teach English and journalism at the now-closed Omaha Technical High School.  "She really valued education, writing ability and grammar. My mom was very articulate, enjoyed debating and liked to talk politics," James Powers said.  She volunteered for the Democratic Party. Son Vincent Powers of Lincoln is now the party's state chairman.  She also was active for many years in the League of Women Voters.

Marjorie Powers grew up in South Omaha and graduated from South High School. In 1940, she graduated from Creighton University with a degree in journalism.  She met her husband, John, in a class at CU. He was captain of the football team, but she wouldn't date him because she thought he had smelly feet, their son said.  She finally agreed to a date after another fellow missed class and she realized he was the one who had the smelly feet, James Powers said.

While her husband served in the Army during World War II, she worked at the Presidio in San Francisco, "which she really liked," he said.  After the war, the couple lived in Ogallala, Neb., before returning to Omaha in 1959.

She was a member of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church for more than 50 years.  "Her biggest hobbies were reading and writing," her son said. "She enjoyed movies and books that made you think."  In 1992-93, macular degeneration robbed her of the ability to read: "Talking Books was a lifeline for her."

Marjorie Powers was preceded in death by her husband of 31 years, John J. Powers.

Besides sons James and Vincent, other survivors include sons John of Seattle, Daniel of Lincoln and Edward of New York City; daughter Mary Powers of St. Louis; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Marjorie Powers donated her body to Creighton University School of Medicine.

Click here to see Marjorie's last Profile entry.