Mary Beecher Powell Korndorffer

Published 12:54 am Sunday, September 17, 2017


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Services for Mary “Mopsy” Beecher Powell Korndorffer, 82, who died Saturday, Aug. 29, 2017, will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale.

Arrangements are under the direction of Messinger Mortuaries in Scottsdale.

Email newsletter signup

Mrs. Korndorffer was born June 22, 1935, in Memphis, Tenn., the daughter of Dr. Louise Ewing Beecher Powell, a pediatrician and descendant of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher. Her father was Ernest Allen Powell, owner of the Powell Cooperage Company of Memphis.

This brief article published about “Mopsy” could not be more appropriate than now:

A brisk tap-tapping announced her arrival every morning. With a bright smile, she greeted the class. To her each day seemed to be a new exciting experience. Her spontaneous enthusiasm generated a great interest in her course.

When fund-raising time came, we had auctions and cake bakes. I’ll never forget the day I bid one dollar for a used toothbrush. When school activities were at a low, she could be depended upon to start something new. One year we learned to sing German, French and Spanish Christmas carols. Another year we gave a program of World War II songs.

Tiny and petite, she looked like a French fashion model. She wore her shiny black hair in a delightful pixie. Now she … has moved away, but there will always be a warm place in the hearts of her students for Miss Mopsy Powell.

After moving to Scottsdale, Mopsy spent many hours in the field of art, giving tours, lectures and writing articles. She became a master docent at the Phoenix Art Museum. Her other avocation was extensive volunteer work for a well-known rehabilitation organization. This work included sponsoring new members — from unwed mothers to successful psychiatrists; as well as carrying this kind of support to incarcerated female prisoners. And most of us never noticed how severely handicapped Mopsy was for her last 40 years from a major stroke.

Survivors include her husband of 35 years (and sweethearts at Ole Miss when 18 and 19 years of age) Robert Haskell Korndorffer; twin daughters, Heather Marshall and Holly Marshall; one son, George Marshall and wife, Kirsten; two grandchildren, George and Camille Marshall; two stepdaughters, Camille Davis and Alice Carol Knoblock; one stepson, Eric Korndorffer; one niece, Dr. Elizabeth Smith Bray of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; and two nephews, James Smith of Murfreesboro and John Powell Smith.