The Rev. David Powell, 73, a nationally honored administrator who set up Simpson Senior Services in 1998 and headed it until he retired in December 2003, died of complications of Alzheimer's disease on May 29 at his home in Parksley, Va.

Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Simpson Services operates five retirement communities, including Simpson House on Belmont Avenue near Fairmount Park.

The others are Simpson Midtown in Philadelphia and Simpson Gardens in Lansdowne, both subsidized housing for seniors, and two Chester County facilities - Simpson Meadows in Downingtown, an independent- and assisted-living community, and Jenner's Pond in Jennersville, which, like Simpson House, is a continuing-care retirement community.

From 1987 to 1998, Mr. Powell was executive director of Simpson House.

The Rev. David Adam, executive vice president of Simpson House, said that in 1994 the United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries, a national organization, named Mr. Powell its administrator of the year.

Born in East Stroudsburg, Mr. Powell earned a bachelor of arts from Lafayette College in Easton in 1957 and a master's in divinity from Drew University in 1960, before being ordained into what is now the United Methodist Church.

Before working with senior citizens, he was the pastor at New Hope Methodist Church from 1959 to 1962 and at Holmesburg United Methodist Church in Philadelphia from 1965 to 1973.

After his pastorate in Holmesburg, Mr. Powell was assistant director of Evangelical Manor, a United Methodist continuing-care retirement community in Northeast Philadelphia, from 1973 to 1977 and executive director of Ralston House, a University City residence for seniors, from 1977 to 1982.

From 2001 to 2003, he was board president of the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Homes for the Aging.

Mr. Powell is survived by his wife, Juliett; a son, Richard; a daughter, Kathleen Roth; a stepdaughter, Kimberly Strassel; two brothers; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His first wife, Barbara, died in 1975.

A visitation was set from 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Jane Henry Chapel at the Simpson House, 2102 Belmont Ave., Philadelphia, followed by a 10:45 a.m. Masonic service and an 11 a.m. memorial there.

Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.