Dwight Powell, who served as treasurer and on the board of the Jackson Park Advisory Council for a dozen years, advocating for the establishment of the Obama Presidential Center there, died recently of natural causes at the age of 72.
Powell, who was born Feb. 16, 1948, held a doctorate in social and psychological studies and worked as a licensed clinical social worker for Chicago Public Schools alongside some post-secondary teaching and private sector social work. Professor Powell also taught evening classes for several years at Chicago State University.
He was a Sunday school teacher at the Apostolic Church of God, 6320 S. Dorchester Ave., a past president of the 72nd and Luella Block Club and a member of the Rat Pack of Chicago.
A list of forebears and survivors was not immediately available. No memorial plans have been announced.
"Dwight Powell was dedicated to his God, his community and the youth of Chicago," wrote JPAC Vice President Gary Ossewaarde in an email announcing the death. “Dwight … was a visionary planner and volunteer in our work day and special events and in supporting and honoring the park camp kids and getting things needed at the fieldhouse.”
Ossewaarde also noted Powell’s advocacy for and logistical help with youth sports programs (especially in golf caddie, swimming and sailing), narration of the “Jackson Park in Your Pocket” tour app and commemoration of Frederick Douglass’ speech there during the 1983 World Columbian Exhibition.
“He fought for improvement plans for Jackson Park,” Ossewaarde wrote. “He was always ready to call out anyone including officials who came up short or to give a pat on the pack to those who did well.”