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PASSAGES John Charles Power dies
2017-10-12

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John Charles Power, 74, died suddenly of cardiac arrest Aug. 23, 2017, in Chicago.

He was born in Sherman, Texas, raised in Caddo and McAlester, Oklahoma, and came to Chicago in 1968 after college and stints in the U.S. Navy and American Red Cross.

He received a master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle in 1974 and an associate degree in nursing from Harry S Truman College in 1981. John was active in early Chicago gay rights and social service organizations in the 1970s, including Chicago Gay Alliance, Gay Horizons ( where he organized and ran the Peer Counseling program ), Howard Brown Health Center and Mattachine Midwest ( serving as president ).

He also actively participated in many Chicago pride parades, beginning with the second one from Washington Square to the Civic Center ( now Daley Center ). For several years in the 1970s, John lived in the "Emerald City," a commune of gay men living in an old house on Winthrop Avenue in the Edgewater neighborhood.

In 1976-1977, he fostered, as an "out" gay adult and with the support and licensure of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, an "out" gay teenager.

While a nurse at St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City in 1982-'83, John took care of many early AIDS patients, a task in which he took great pride.

He was a member of the Chicago Cossacks leather club in the 1980s. He worked for almost three decades for the Community Counseling Centers of Chicago ( C4 ) as a psychiatric nurse and social worker, retiring in 2015.

John loved his garden and reading, including mystery novels and books about history, medicine and quantum physics, and he was devoted to his cats.

In his retirement, John volunteered at the Center on Addison and Red Door Animal Shelter.

John leaves behind his husband and partner of 40 years, Raymond Terry Tatum; his partner of 21 years, Robert A. Novak:, his kitties Scooter, Sass/Sweet Pea, Tommy, Fluff and Geebers; outdoor cats that he cared for, including Mom Cat, Brewster, Castor and Tortie; and friends that he cherished.

John was one-quarter Choctaw on his mother's side, and he took great pride in his Native ancestry.

Donations in his memory can be made to the John C. Power Endowed Scholarship at the American Indian College Fund ( www.collegefund.org ).

A memorial celebration of John's life will be held on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, from 5-8 p.m. at Ann Sather, 909 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago ( information - Terry at rttatum2@att.net ).


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