Tom Power, co-owner of The Cheese Shop and Fat Canary restaurant in Williamsburg, Va., died recently while on vacation in Bermuda with his wife Mary Ellen. He was 81.
An avid swimmer, he got caught up in a rip tide during a morning swim and died before being rescued, according to his daughter, Cathy Power Pattisall, in a local news report. “He was doing what he loved with the woman he loved in the place that he loved to be,” Pattisall said in the news report.
The Powers opened their first cheese shop in 1971 in Newport News, Va. before opening The Cheese Shop in Williamsburg in 1973. In 2001, The Cheese Shop moved to its current 9,000-square-foot store. The couple’s children have since joined the business, and opened the Fat Canary restaurant as well as the Wine Cellar, which operates in the downstairs of the cheese store.
Tom and Mary Ellen Powers also were recently awarded the Prentis Award from the College of William & Mary.