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Family tribute to former priest

PUBLISHED: 14:22 25 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:20 07 July 2010

The family of a retired clergyman who died after going missing from a Norfolk care home have today paid tribute to a 'good, gentle, and generous' husband, father, and friend.

The family of a retired clergyman who died after going missing from a Norfolk care home have today paid tribute to a “good, gentle, and generous” husband, father, and friend.

A major land and air search was launched last week after Raymond Powell, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease and diabetes, disappeared shortly after arriving at The Beeches care home in East Harling, near Thetford.

The 73-year-old, who had been living in retirement at Roydon, near Diss, died in hospital shortly after being found at the bottom of an embankment at East Harling's industrial estate on Wednesday .

His wife, Janet and two children, Dominic and Susanna, today released a statement paying tribute to the devout Christian and dedicated clergyman.

Mr Powell, who was born and bred in London, became a priest in 1963 in the Diocese of London. In 1967, he moved to the Diocese of Ely where he stayed until his retirement in 2000, whereupon he moved to Norfolk. He had arrived at The Beeches at East Harling for a one week stay.

His family today said that Mr Powell was not just a “contemplative and reflective” Christian man confined to the church, but he also understood the call to serve the whole community and was an “amazing listener.” He had interests in botany, zoology, history, and was a great lover of poetry.

“It is particularly sad that many of those joys and the qualities he shared for so many years were the very things that Alzheimer's gradually stole from him. Ultimately though, his family, friends and all those who knew and loved him will remember the man and priest who gave himself in service to others - completely and unstintingly - and the difference he made to their lives,” said the statement.

Mr Powell's inquest was opened and adjourned on Monday, which revealed that he had died from uncontrolled diabetes as a result of his Alzheimer's.

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