Harold R. Powers
Harold R. Powers
EAST WALLINGFORD — Harold Raphael “Ray” Powers, born May 16, 1926, passed away peacefully at home in East Wallingford with his family on March 8, 2014. Ray had been a staple in the Rutland community for more than 30 years, and could be found year-round at the Bear Mountain Bakers stand every Saturday at the Rutland Farmers’ Market.
Ray’s amazing life journey began in Boston, where he was born and raised, the third of seven children. He was a “Triple Eagle” — a graduate of Boston College High School, Boston College and Boston College Graduate School.
He joined the Society of Jesus in 1943, and taught at Baghdad College in Iraq until the Ba’ath party came to power and expelled all Americans in 1969. Ray then worked at the Fairfield University Graduate School in Connecticut, ultimately becoming headmaster of Fairfield Preparatory School in 1972. Ray became reacquainted with Christine Callinan while she was a student at Fairfield University. Love prompted Ray to leave the priesthood, and they married in 1977.
They moved with their young son and daughter to East Wallingford, Vt., in 1982 with the dream of becoming bakers. The family bought a house, built a brick oven and together perfected their recipe for the Bear Mountain Bakers sourdough bread that has been selling out at the Rutland Farmers’ Market and in local stores for more than 30 years. The family welcomed another daughter in 1997, and Ray loved watching his children grow up in their home, working in the bakery and enjoying the serenity of Bear Mountain.
He was filled with immense love, knowledge, patience and sincere caring for everyone. Ray always had time for a nice chat — whether it was with a longtime friend, or a stranger turned friend. His peaceful presence will be forever missed by his family and many friends in the community.
Ray was predeceased by his daughter, Kate (1980-96), and all of his siblings. He leaves his loving wife, Chris, daughter Grace, and son and daughter-in-law, John and Alison. Thankfully, Ray’s last few weeks were spent at home, surrounded by family and loved ones.
The family will be holding a private Mass for Ray. They look forward to a gathering of friends and family this summer to celebrate Ray’s life. For anyone wishing to make donations in Ray’s memory, please send them to The Vermont Farmers Food Center, PO Box 1008, Rutland, VT 05701.