dvn powers obit

Ted Powers, who taught future journalists at MVCC, dies

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By Bob Bong 

Ted Powers, whose passion for journalism inspired budding reporters at Moraine Valley Community College and turned The Glacier into one of the top student newspapers in the country, died February 19 at age 68 after a lengthy battle with congestive heart failure. 

“Ted gave everything in his life 150%,” said his wife, Alison Moran-Powers. “Whether it was his family, the Moraine Valley Glacier, or when he was reporting on events. That, and his passion and zest for life, were the keys to his success. Another thing that made Ted unique: like the greats he covered, he made those around him better. Ted always showed up for the people he loved.” 

They met when she was a guest lecturer to his Publications Class at Moraine Valley in 2012. 

It was at Moraine Valley that Ted found his passion for journalism and reporting. As a student, he covered sports and news for The Glacier newspaper, and freelanced as a high school sports reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and Southwest News Publishing.  

Upon graduation from St. Xavier, he was asked to return to Moraine Valley, first as Director of Advertising, later as Student Publication Advisor for The Glacier, until his retirement in 2019. 

Ted was so much more than an advisor to his students. Under his direction, The Glacier became one of the top-rated student newspapers in the country, earning honors from the Illinois Community College Journalism Association and nationally, from the College Media Association and Associated Collegiate Press.  

He took his students to college journalism conferences across the nation, from California to Washington, D.C.  

He and Alison also hosted workshops on “The Future of Journalism,” and “Blogging” for students and advisors alike.  

He also created opportunities for his students to cover teams like the Chicago Wolves, giving them the opportunity to work alongside professional sports journalists.  

He also hosted college and high school journalism conferences at Moraine Valley, inspiring a new generation of journalists by bringing in veterans of the field to guest-lecture. He also coached Moraine Valley’s College Bowl to several tournament championships. 

One of those students was Kevin Kenealy, who is now an AP English teacher at Crete-Monee High School, a published author and an Orland Park resident.  

“I don’t know where I’d be in my life without Ted Powers,” Kenealy said. “He not only positively affected my life, but the lives of many. Whenever I teach a class, help a student, or pass on one of his words of wisdom, I know I will do his memory justice. He continues to serve even after he’s gone because he showed us the way, and that’s truly a beautiful thing.”  

He grew up in Chicago’s Ashburn neighborhood and graduated from Bogan High School. He studied at Moraine Valley Community College and St. Xavier University. 

Ted lived every day to the fullest, with joy, passion, perseverance, determination, and a wily sense of adventure and humor. As a teenager, he earned the ranking of Eagle Scout and was named a member of the Order of the Arrow, which recognizes Boy Scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. He carried that determination into his first career as a printer, as a husband, and in raising his children. Ted was involved in the Masons, Y-Indian Princesses, coaching softball and baseball, and mentoring students. 

His greatest battle came when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer in 1992. Eschewing common wisdom and advice, and determined to see his children reach adulthood, he researched and underwent an experimental treatment at Rush Hospital, which ultimately gave him an additional 30+ years of life; time enough to earn his Associates Degree in Communications from Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, then a Bachelor’s in Communications from St. Xavier University in Chicago after his cancer went into remission. 

As a lifelong Chicago sports fan, he relished covering the teams he loved as a boy. Whether it was his Chicago Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks and Bulls, and even the White Sox, he was thrilled to interview his heroes of the past and the stars of the present. 

Ted’s passing leaves a large hole in the lives of all who knew and loved him. 

According to Ted’s wishes, there will be no funeral or burial services; instead, a celebration of life will be held in DeKalb on March 4. For time and location details please email his daughter Rebecca at rebeccapowers99@yahoo.com.  

Gifts in his memory can be sent to Camp Tecumseh- YMCA in Brookston, Indiana (https://www.camptecumseh.org/give/); his favorite camping location where he spent many weekends over the last 40 years with his family.  

Survivors include Alison; their child, Lev; his brother, Bud; sisters, Peggy and Judy; mother-in-law Betty Moore; former wife, Colleen Flood; seven daughters: Felicia Fernandez , Selina (Hugo) Cabrera, Melita (Dan) Loya, Colleen Fernandez Thompson, Marialena Fernandez, Jenine Fernandez and Rebecca Powers (Corey Mainhart); three sons, Ricardo (Gina) Fernandez, Cristiano (Meg Ann) Fernandez and Andrew (Kathy) Powers; 18 grandchildren: Cristina, Elisa, Alec, Elliott, Danny, Marisa, Mia, Darryl, Valentina, Mercedes, Cesar, Jesenia, Alexus, Xavier, Annabelle, Logan, Laurali, and Aidan; eight nieces and nephews: Tammie, Tracie, Jim, Jason, Stephanie, Christopher, Jennifer, and Brian; also, dear friends, family and former students. 

3 Comments

  1. Ricardo Fernandez on March 2, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    Beautiful tribute to a wonderful man.



  2. Stephanie on March 2, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    An amazing man and uncle❤️



  3. Charlie Meyerson on March 12, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    Ted did tremendous honor to a program launched by my father (who later edited the Southwest News Herald, for that latter).

    Rest in peace, Professor.



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