Matthew Ryan Powell, 34, Topeka: Nov. 18, 1980 – Sept. 29, 2015

TOPEKA – Matthew Ryan Powell, 34, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in Topeka.  Matthew was born on Nov. 18, 1980, in Emporia, Kan., the son of Mike Powell and Shelley Davidson.

He graduated from Emporia High School in 1999 and attended Emporia State University. He was an applications developer for the Kansas State Historial Society in Topeka. He was a life-long member of Boy Scouts of America, earning his Eagle Scout in 1997. As a teenager, Matthew spent his summers working at Camp Jayhawk. He also volunteered at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico building hiking trails. He was a member of the Order of the Arrow, and continued to serve as a Den leader for Pack 175 Den 7 in Topeka. Matthew was a devoted father to his two boys. He enjoyed running; a passion he shared with his grandfather Clyde, recently finishing the Kansas City Marathon. He also loved Kansas history and served as a volunteer at the Lecompton State Historic site. He was a co-vice-president of the Wanamaker Elementary PTO, and a champion of children. His favorite activity was rough-housing with his sons and his nieces and nephew. 

Matt will be remembered by his two sons, William Jeffrey and Sean Matthew Powell, of Topeka; mother Shelley (Mike) Wise, Emporia; father, Mike Powell, Osage City; two sisters, Meganne Tuttle and Molly Powell, both of Emporia; a brother, Jeffrey Powell, Emporia; maternal grandmother, Carolynn Davidson, along with his nieces Olivia, Madelyn, and Avery Tuttle, and his nephew Max Hernandez.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Perry and Evelyn Powell; and maternal grandfather, Clyde Davidson.

A celebration of Matthew’s life will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, at the Red Rocks State Historic Site, in Emporia.

Memorial contributions may be made to Camp Jayhawk Boy Scout Camp to establish scholarships in his name, and may be sent in care of Jones VanArsdale Funeral Home, P.O. 43, Lebo, KS 66856. Condolences may be expressed at

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