Sarah S. Powers

Date of Passing:

January 18, 2021

Sarah Snelling Powers passed away peacefully on Monday, January 18 at the age of 88, having lived a remarkable life. A private memorial service will be planned later this year when conditions permit.

Sarah was born June 15, 1932 in West Hartford, CT, the third of four children born to Dr. Pinkney Snelling, a prominent physician, and Sarah Clapham Smith (Johnston) Snelling. She is pre-deceased by her siblings, Matilda S Smith, Madeleine S Sinclair, and Christopher P Snelling. She grew up in West Hartford, attending The Chaffee School and The University of Connecticut where she attended the School of Nursing. It was while at the Chaffee School that she met and fell in love with her future husband, William Rowland Powers III. Family lore says the beautiful Sarah Snelling met the handsome Bill Powers while ice skating one winter night. It was love at first sight.

The first few years of their marriage were spent in Cambridge, MA and Charlottesville, VA while Bill completed school. During that time, they had three children, Chris, Billy, and Sally. Though Bill was very occupied with school, Sarah managed the growing brood and their active social life. Once school was behind them, Sarah and Bill moved to Barrington, RI in 1960. They set down roots on Rumstick Point in an unheated former barn located within what had been since the 1920’s the Powers Family compound. As the story goes, Sarah used to put the kids to bed in their snowsuits and check their noses at night to make sure they weren’t frozen. Three more children soon followed- Janet, Donald, and Rebecca- as did some heat for the barn. Despite having had 6 kids in the span of 8 years, Sarah found time to be an avid golfer with her wonderful group of friends, play a mean game of paddle tennis with Bill and their enthusiastic cohort of paddle buddies, and make a spaghetti dish that was famous in the neighborhood. Kids would lobby for an invite to dinner at the Powers’ on the nights that spaghetti was served. For the family of 8, Sarah was the emotional rock, the safe harbor, and the source of unwavering love and support. She gave all of herself in whatever way they needed of her. And as her children grew to adulthood and had families of their own, she became a treasured friend and confidant to all.

When Sarah’s youngest children were still in school, she founded the Stock Exchange with two longtime friends. They built the consignment store into an enormous success and it was a fixture on Maple Avenue for 20 years. The Stock Exchange developed a passionate and loyal clientele and became a meeting place as much as a business, and regulars would eagerly stop by every few days to see what was new. Over the years it developed a well-deserved reputation and drew dealers from all over southern New England. Bill and the kids and grandkids always took great pride in the fact that Sarah was a founder and owner of the Stock Exchange.

Sarah sold the Stock Exchange and in the mid-90’s she and Bill retired to a home in New London, NH that they had designed and built with their architect son, Donald. What followed were happy years filled with golf, gardening, book clubs, classes at Dartmouth and volunteering. Sarah developed a close-knit group of dear friends who adored and supported one another, and who helped her through the loss of Bill in an accident in 1998. For her 15 grandchildren, trips to visit Gramma were highlights in the year. When they arrived, she always had cakes baked, a cookie jar filled with Oreos, dinner in the oven, and sleds at the ready. Whether it was taking winter walks through the woods, fun projects in Grampy’s workshop, or little treats bought for all the kids, Sarah had a gift for making family visits feel like holidays, and holidays feel like magic.

Her move back to Barrington came in 2011 as she was beginning to deal with the Alzheimer’s disease that ultimately stole her memory and her health. Her last years were spent at Atria Bay Spring in Barrington, RI under the daily, loving care of her devoted daughter, Janet.

Hers was truly a life well-lived.

Sarah is survived by 4 of her children, Sarah (Powers) Frese and husband Cal of Lake Forest, Illinois; Janet C Powers of Barrington, RI; Donald W Powers and wife Dana of Jamestown, RI; and Rebecca R Powers of Delray Beach, FL; along with 15 grandchildren and 4 (soon to be 5) great grandchildren. Her sons Christopher Johnston Powers (Peggy), and William Fuller Powers both predeceased her.

Donations in Sarah’s memory may be made to The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens in Newbury, NH https://thefells.org/ to which she was a devoted volunteer during her New Hampshire years.

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20 Comments

  1. Sarah Powers was always one of the Classiest ladies around. She was a superb wife, mother and friend. It was an honour to know her.
    I remember she always seemed to have a smile on her face, calm and loving.
    May her children and grandchildren always remember such reverence.

  2. My deepest condolences to the Powers family. I worked for Sarah in the office of The Stock Exchange during my high school and college years. They are times that I often look back on with fond memories. I learned so much from her during my time there. She always spoke of her family and how wonderful they are. You are all in my thoughts during this difficult time.

  3. Once Sarah moved to the Roberta Plat her friendliness surrounded us as neighbors. She took pride in her new home, sprucing up all of her landscape. We shared time enjoying the Barrington summer concerts at the beach. Gathering at a neighborhood Open House she helped welcome all as if it were her party. We miss her! I am sending deepest sympathy to the family she loved so dearly. Her Sunday evenings hosting her family were were a highlight of her week.

  4. Our family offers its deepest sympathy to the Powers family. Our children attended Nayatt School with her grandchildren, Laura and Billy. El Paso (Crombie) Wright family were best friends with Chris. Meeting Sarah was a joy. May her life be a blessing.

  5. To all of the Powers your mother will be greatly missed as she and all of the other mothers that completed Rumstick Point and all the years of fun and mischief that we all had together. Maybe once this world gets back to normal we will have the opportunity to get together again and celebrate her life.

  6. My deepest condolences to the entire Powers clan.
    So many of my childhood memories are intertwined with your family. Walking down Rumstick Drive to your house happened many times a day. Your home felt like my home, where I could enter anytime day or night and be guaranteed a warm welcome by “Mrs. Powers”. Until she had to pry me away from it all and say it was time to go home.
    Something good was always guaranteed for me at the Powers house- whether it was Becca, Janet and i clamming, swimming out to the raft, exploring the neighborhood, riding mini bikes , or making forts, etc.
    Looking back, your Mom had lots on her plate with six kids, but always had so much to give -meals, stern guidance when needed and a true love of children- so glad i was i was there…..
    It was such a magical time to grow up. The true community of good friends and families like yours will be forever embedded in my heart.
    Then, when Sarah, Jan (my Mom) and Connie decided to start the Stock Exchange, that was a whole other side of her I got to experience. Watching our mothers create that business as partners and see them blossom as trailblazers in the consignment shop world showed us all how a couple of Barringtom housewives could transform themselves into legit entrepreneurs and have fun doing it!
    Lastly, Your Mom helped my Mom through so much heart ache and for that i will be forever grateful.
    She was a dear friend.
    Love you all…
    Xoxox
    ❤️💥🙏🏻💫☮️
    Becky

  7. Sarah was always a beautiful woman in all ways. We always had such fun with Sarah and Bill at weddings, parties, sports. I feel so blessed to have known her

  8. Sending my deep sympathy to the Powers family. I worked for/with Bill many years ago and came to know Sarah as well. She was a beautiful person, inside and out, and always so welcoming, thoughtful, gracious and nice. You are all in my thoughts and prayers at this very sad time.

  9. Janet and family, I am so sorry for your loss. You are such a devoted daughter, taking such loving care of your loving mother these past few years. May her memory be as a blessing. Miss seeing you at Tap-In!!!

  10. Sally
    My sincere sympathy . My thoughts are with your family .

  11. My condolences to the entire powers family. I worked for your dad who i adored and was lucky to have met your mom during those years. Your mom and dad always have a special place in my heart.

  12. I have wonderful recollections of Sarah Powers. She was as kind as she was beautiful with a marvelous laugh. Bill and Sarah were dear pals of my parents. My mother especially cherishes her fond memories of adventures shared with her first Barrington friend.

  13. My deepest sympathy to all the powers family. Sarah was a very special and beautiful lady and she will be sorely missed. Blessings to you all.

  14. So many great memories of her from my childhood growing up in the Rumstick Point neighborhood!
    Sending my love and condolences to the family

  15. Sarah I will miss you it was a pleasure getting to know you which made taking care of you very easy You always told me that I have a beautiful smile so Ms Sarah I will continue to smile and hopefully it can make someone else happy Rest in Peace. My prayers and condolences goes out to your family

  16. Thank you for giving us the honor to care for and love Sarah for the last several years. We miss her terribly.

  17. Our deepest sympathy to all the Powers. I have many very special memories of our time together as neighbors on the Point including putting up the annual
    swim dock, clambakes and bon fires on the beach. Sarah was always filled with enthusiasm, and was a wonderful Mom, friend, and neighbor!

  18. Our deepest sympathy to all the Powers. I have many very special memories of our time together as neighbors on the Point including putting up the annual
    swim dock, clambakes and bon fires on the beach. Sarah was always filled with enthusiasm, and was a wonderful Mom, friend, and neighbor!

  19. My deepest condolences to the Power family. Such a wonderful family! Sarah touched everyone’s heart who knew her. She was truly a beautiful person. My love to you all.

  20. Sending my deepest sympathy to the entire Powers family. I will always remember Sarah’s beautiful smile.

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