Jack Powell, at age 86, relaxes in his living room in 2008.

From the Manhattan Project to the nuclear age, Avon native enjoyed front-row seat to history

MONMOUTH, Ill. — When Jack Powell entered Monmouth College in the fall of 1939, the war in Europe seemed very far away. Little did he suspect that less than four years later he would be drafted into the Manhattan Project, which would develop the atomic bomb and ultimately bring an end to World War II.