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Judge, war veteran dies at 86

Oklahoman Published: May 24, 2006
Retired Lincoln County District Judge Donald E. Powers, who presided over the multicounty grand jury that indicted Gov. David Walters in 1993 for illegal campaign acts, died Monday.

Powers, 86, had a long and distinguished military and judicial career.

During World War II, he was a navigator on B-24 aircraft while serving in the 15th Air Force in Italy. He flew 51 combat missions, receiving the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Powers also served in the Korean War with the 160th field artillery of the 45th Infantry Division, attaining the rank of captain.

Powers went on to serve 28 years as a judge in the district that includes Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties.

Among Oklahomans, Powers probably is best known as the judge who presided over the multicounty grand jury that methodically investigated and unraveled the corrupt gubernatorial campaign of Walters, ultimately indicting him and many of his top campaign supporters for illegal campaign acts.

Powers was living in Oklahoma City at the time of his death.

Funeral services for Powers will be 10 a.m. Friday at Quail Springs United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, with burial at 2 p.m. at Oak Park Cemetery in Chandler. Smith & Kernke, 14624 N May Ave., is handling arrangements.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Alleve Hospice, 8524 S Western, Suite 105, Oklahoma City, OK, 73139. has disabled the comments for this article.