Bill Powell, age 85, of Marthaville, Louisiana, passed away on September 25, 2016. He was born to Jesse Shelton Powell and Lelia Potter Powell on March 4, 1931 in Provencal, Louisiana.
Bill was a simple man, with an unshakable character defined by the things he treasured on this Earth. He believed in the Lord, hard work and his family. Life required something special from Bill, and this began with the passing of his father when he was 9 years old. The needs of his mother and younger siblings caused him to leave school to start stacking pulpwood to help make ends meet. He would spend the rest of his life as a logger. On May 19th, 1951, he married the love of his life, Betty Mae, and she would be at his side for the next 65 years. The first time he saw this pretty, freckled redhead, he said she was “as cute as a speckled pup under a red wagon.” Their courtship included syrup pull parties and going to church in his old pulpwood truck. As they began to build a life and family together, Bill and Betty were blessed with nine children and a grandson, Nolan Jr., they raised as a son. His pride and joy was his family, and he always put their needs before his. You would have difficulty finding a man who has ever done more for his family. He was a business owner, sawmill operator and landowner for over 65 years, and he set an example of solid values and tireless work ethic. Working from daylight to dark to provide for his wife and children caused his business to grow and taught that you can create something from nothing. Training mules and riding in covered wagons was something he loved to do in his free time, and his family and friends who accompanied him have many memories from the two trail rides a year he hosted. Bill was known for his generosity and his giving spirit touched so many people throughout his life. He was as tough as nails when it came to his dealings, but had a heart that would melt for those truly in need. He died in the peace and comfort of his home with his precious Betty Mae still at his side, surrounded by the family he loved so much. The story of Bill Powell is told in the good name and legacy that he leaves on this Earth.
Left to honor his memory is his loving wife of 65 years, Betty Mae Jenkins Powell; daughters, Loretta Griefzu, Lawanna Singletary and husband, Jason, and Laura Strahan and husband, Steven; sons, Marvin Powell, and wife, Teresa, Alton Powell and wife, Susan, Dana Dean Powell and wife, Patsy, Garland Powell and his wife, Anita, and Stacy Powell and wife, Dana; daughter-in-law, Yvonne Rawls Powell; 24 grandchildren, including the grandson they raised, Nolan Powell Jr. and fiancé’, Shawn Jessup; 40 great-grandchildren; 1 great great-grandchild; his two very special friends, Ira “Bootsie” Cochran and Sam Salim; and a host of family and friends.
Preceding Bill in death were his parents; his beloved son, Nolan Powell Sr. and an infant son; grandson, Casey Edward Powell; son-in-law, James Greifzu; sisters, Pearl Powell Richardson and Odessa Powell; and his brothers, Aubrey Powell, Jesse Powell and Melton Powell.
By Bill’s request, a simple graveside service honoring his life will be Monday, September 26, 2016, at 2 p.m. at Cedar Grove Cemetery, 4524 Cedar Grove Rd. Robeline, LA, with Bro. Glynn Howard officiating. Burial will follow. In lieu of flowers, he asked that donations be made to his favorite charity, St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital.