Bideford councillor honours late wife by completing bucket list

13:34 06 August 2014

Andy Powell with his late wife Jennifer Gabriel-Powell.

Andy Powell with his late wife Jennifer Gabriel-Powell.

Archant

Former mayor Andy Powell, 55, to take on run and make town ‘dementia friendly’ to honour his wife Jennifer who died in March.

"We had 53 incredibly happy weeks together; we were completely inseparable."

Former Bideford mayor Andy Powell.

A FORMER Bideford mayor is honouring his late wife by completing a ‘bucket list’ they drew up together – including making the town ‘dementia friendly’.

Jennifer Gabriel-Powell was just 34 when she collapsed on March 30 and died of a brain haemorrhage, 14 months into her marriage to town councillor Andy Powell.

The couple met in 2012 when Andy was in North Carolina, America, on an archaeological dig looking for evidence of the lost colonies.

“I was wearing tie dye and in walked the archaeologist with his number two – which was Jenn, also wearing tie dye,” said Andy, 55.

Jennifer Gabriel-Powell passed away in March.Jennifer Gabriel-Powell passed away in March.

“It was like it was meant to be and after the two weeks were up and I had to leave it was heartbreaking – there were a lot of tears.”

After parting ways, the couple talked endlessly over Skype and Jenn got herself a passport and bought a plane ticket to the UK. In August they were married.

“We had 53 incredibly happy weeks together; we were completely inseparable,” said Andy.

“On March 30 we went to Bideford Pannier Market because Jenn was trying to get a loaf of bread baked right for a competition.

“She fell unconscious in my arms and an hour-and-a-half later she was dead. The doctors said it was like a ticking time bomb.”

On New Year’s Day, the couple had drawn up a list of things they wished to do this year and now Andy has taken it upon himself to complete them.

As part of the list, he continued Jenn’s work to sign Bideford up to the Purple Angel scheme, which raises awareness of dementia and offers guidance for employees.

“Jenn was terrified she was going to die from Alzheimer’s, as it is so prevalent in her family – she really wanted Bideford to get involved in the scheme,” said Andy.

“As a result of my dear wife’s inspiration, Bideford has essentially become one of the first towns in England to be understanding of people with dementia.”

Andy has also vowed to take on a 5km run – “I’ve never run in my life,” he added – in North Carolina next year to honour Jenn as part of their bucket list.

“I am completely lost and devastated, just getting through each day putting one foot in front of the other,” he added.

“Even in death she has saved the lives of 10 people through donating her organs. She was a true inspiration and this is my way of honouring her.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other North Devon Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by North Devon Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique North Devon Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

11 minutes ago
It was a full house at Torridge District Council's plans committee today (Thursday).

Torridge District Councillors have refused plans for 200 new houses - despite officers recommending Heywood Road plans for approval.

Read more
47 minutes ago
Westward Ho! teenager Yazzy Chamberlain is releasing an album

Yazzy holding launch event for ‘Silly boys breaking hearts’ on Sunday

Read more
14:24
Chelfham Mill. Picture: Nicholas Mutton

Principal says private school will looks to re-register once police investigation is complete.

Read more
Mark and Emma Smale with Imogen and her sister Evie. Picture: Sarah Howells

Friends and family are hoping to raise £9,000 to buy a water therapy unit for young Bideford girl with life-limiting illness.

Read more
14:40
Bideford's Torridge Bridge.

The 82-year-old from Fremington suffered with depression but inquest heard his death came as ‘complete shock’.

Read more
This year's festival at Castle Hill was a wet and muddy affair

July’s wet weather left Castle Hill in ‘worst condition for 26 years’

Read more
Angelina and Patrick Montague outside of the new Monty's Caribbean Kitchen restaurant.

New Barnstaple restaurant will bring a taste of the West Indies to Barnstaple.

Read more
08:00
Pauline Smith with her new book, Tales of the Torridge.

New book out this week uncovers history of the River Torridge, and will be officially launched at Appledore Book Festival.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:38
Can you call the wine man's bluff?

Teams will taste wines from around the world before hearing a different description from each of the panelists - but who is bluffing?

Read more
Yesterday, 12:38
Marc Harris, pictured with a chameleon, has opened Safe Haven Exotics, a reptile rescue centre near Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Reptile rescue centre opens its doors near Barnstaple.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition


North Devon's trusted business finder