By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Oct. 25, 2021: The US’ first Jamaican American Secretary of State Colin Powell is set to be laid to rest following a funeral early next month, but the public is now being given a chance to sign a condolence book.
Woody Funeral home will offer a condolence book for the late former as his family announced a private funeral on Nov. 5th at the Washington National Cathedral. The homecoming celebration will take place at noon and all guests must have a ticket to attend the event.
The public can view the service via livestream on The National Cathedral’s website.
Lacyn Barton, President of Woody and Nelsen Funeral Homes, said the condolence book would be available to the public to sign through October 31 at Woody Funeral Home located at 1771 North Parham Road in Virginia. The public can sign the book or offer up any personalized notes and cards to be delivered to Powell’s family at the end of the month.
Born in Harlem to Luther and Maud Powell, who immigrated to the United States from Jamaica, Powell was an American success story. He grew up in the Bronx and graduated from City College of New York in 1958. He joined the U.S. Army through ROTC, starting as the youngest second lieutenant commissioned in the dawn of a newly desegregated Army.
Powell served two combat tours in Vietnam; he was injured during both. Injuries sustained in a helicopter crash from which he pulled two fellow soldiers earned him medals for bravery during the second tour.
While serving in the military, Powell met Alma Vivian Johnson on a blind date. The couple married in August 1962.
After receiving his Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University, Powell began a White House Fellowship under President Richard Nixon in 1972.
Almost two decades later, in 1987, President Ronald Reagan named Powell national security advisor. The president later named him chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. The appointment made Powell the youngest chairman ever and the first of Afro-Caribbean American heritage. He was also the first former ROTC member to hold the position.
After 35 years of service and with the rank of general, Powell retired from the military.
In 2001, Powell was appointed, confirmed and sworn in as the first Black secretary of state. He resigned in 2004, following a prostate cancer diagnosis.
Although Powell was a longtime Republican and served under three Republican presidents—Reagan, George H. Bush and George W. Bush—he endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections “because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America.”
After retiring from public service, Powell wrote the second of his two books, It Worked for Me, Lessons in Life and Leadership, while continuing his relationship with the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College of New York. He spent his later years as a senior statesman to the world, addressing audiences across the globe.
Powell, a four-star general who served as the 65th United States Secretary of State from 2001-2005, died earlier this week at 84 due to COVID-19 complications. He was being created for multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells.
Powell is survived by his wife; two daughters, Linda Powell and Anne Powell Lyons; a son, Michael Powell, who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission; and four grandchildren.