Funeral services for Billy Powell, 87, of New Summerfield, are scheduled at 2 p.m. Sunday, September 12, 2021 at Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville. David Butler and Steve Edwards are officiating. Services are under the direction of Autry Funeral Home in Jacksonville. He will be laid to rest at McDonald Cemetery in New Summerfield.
Billy passed away at his home in New Summerfield Wednesday, September 8, 2021. He was born November 23, 1933, in Waco, TX to Jarrett "Louie" (J.L.) Powell and Laura Dubuisson Powell.
Billy grew up in LaRue, Texas, graduated La Poyner High School and attended Henderson County College (now Trinity Valley Community College). He married Ada Ruth Haws, and the couple were married for 68 years. Early in their marriage, Billy served in the Army where he was assigned to be a cook stationed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He would use his cooking skills throughout his life as many remember over the years his wonderful "cathead" biscuits, ribeyes, and more. When the couple returned to East Texas, they started Powell Plant Farm which consisted of one greenhouse and a roadside stand. Billy became a leader and pioneer in the industry, serving as president of the Texas Association of Nurserymen [TAN], frequently appearing in grower magazines, garnering many awards and recognitions, and eventually owning the largest nursery operation in Texas, second largest in the U.S. He loved farming and ranching. As owner and operator of 5P Farms, he became a leader in the Brahman cattle industry, winning Grand Champion at the International Brahman Show and the Houston Livestock Show. He was also a pioneer and leader in the deer breeding business. Whatever he pursued, he desired to be the best and has left a legacy of excellence in all his endeavors.
Billy was a pilot and enjoyed flying. His pursuits led him to travel the world, visiting places such as Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Out of all his travels, one of his favorite places was his ranch in La Pryor, Tx. There he shared his love of hunting and the outdoors with his many friends and family. He especially loved to spend time hunting and fishing with his grandchildren.
Billy was preceded in death by his parents; sons Barry, Cliff, and Randy Powell; brother, Jack Powell; and sister-in-law, Jean Powell.
Left to cherish Billy’s memory are his beloved wife, Ada Ruth Haws Powell of New Summerfield and his grandchildren: Blake Powell and wife Ashly, Jason Powell and wife Erica, Brandon Powell and wife Carey, Kara Laney and husband Josh, Cortney Holman and husband K.C., Jordan Powell and wife Kelsey, Alex Powell and Kris Cauley; and 20 great grandchildren with one more on the way. He is also survived by a close friend, Nick Maestas; niece, Liz Kimbrell and nephew, Paul Powell.
Grandsons will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are George Payne, Nick Maestas, Greg Payne, Darold Dickerson, Weldon Cook, Desman Wells, Dayton Hudson and members of the Goodfellows Sunday school class.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, September 11, 2021 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Autry Funeral Home, Jacksonville.
The family would like to express gratitude to caregivers, Jeana Atchison, Evelyn Lalande, and Candy Rivera. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County or Heart to Heart Hospice.
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