Preston Thomas Powell of Nyack, N.Y., and Oak Bluffs died peacefully at his home in Nyack on Dec. 26. He was 96.

He was an administrator, father, grandfather and community volunteer.

Preston was born Nov. 10, 1925 in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Harlem, the son of Isabel Washington Powell and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. He grew up living in the parsonage above the Abyssinian Baptist church. He spent every weekend at the church, assisting Adam and Isabel with its upkeep, operating the lighting system and helping with the baptismal pool. On many Sundays, he strolled down 125th street with Adam after church, shaking hands with everyone in the Harlem community.

Adam and Isabel took Preston to their Bunny Cottage in Oak Bluffs every summer. He learned boating and sailing. He loved fishing, clamming, crabbing and the ocean.

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1950. As a student at Talladega College in Alabama, he played basketball and was sworn into the Alpha Phil Alpha fraternity before graduating with a major in business administration.

During his college years he met his wife, Vivian Griffin Powell. Upon graduation, Vivian and Preston moved to New York. They settled on Long Island and became parents to daughter Tia Powell and son Tommy Powell.

He served on the board of the Milton L. Olive school in Wyandanch for four years while also working full time at the VA Hospital in Northport, N.Y. as a veteran administrator. He won numerous awards for his civil service to the community and his fellow veterans. This love of serving the community ignited a flame in him that would guide his future as he moved up the corporate ladder within the VA hospital system. His goal in life was to help others.

In 1984 he settled in Maine and worked at the Southern Maine Medical Center. He was selected as the first recipient of the Lauren Shulman Volunteer Award for exemplifying volunteer spirit. He received numerous awards and, over 40 years, worked the most volunteer hours of anyone in the state of Maine. He was given the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2004 by the state of Maine, an honor issued by President George Bush.

He loved the people of Maine and they loved him. He continued to volunteer right up to his 2015 move to Nyack so he could be assisted by his son Tommy.

Preston was “cool” and was a kind, gentle, witty ladies man. In his older years he would say “there’s no need to worry about me falling off my cane because I only fall in love.” Everyone at his senior living apartment loved him. Tommy asked him what he thought about his life and he would state “I can only see what’s ahead of me.”

Preston will be missed by his family and loved ones. He is survived by his daughter, Tia Powell-Ortiz of Winston Salem, N.C.; son Preston Tommy Powell of Nyack, N.Y.; grandchildren Luis Benito Gonzalez, Miguel Antonio Ortiz, Gilbert Joel Riquelme, Preston Alexander Powell and Jade Isabel Powell; several great-grandchildren; his cousins, nieces, nephews; and many friends near and far.

Condolences can be sent to the Powell family: The Powell House of African American Culture, P.O. Box 720 Nyack, N.Y. 10960.