Juanita Tomlinson Powell, 94, of Valdosta--a good woman who led a good life--died at Langdale Hospice House Saturday, September 5, 2009.
She was married for 54 years to the late Franklin Benjamin Powell Jr. and for 65 years lived in the same house on East Park Avenue where they reared four daughters. They were committed to ensuring that their daughters were well-educated, well-mannered, responsible, caring and independent.
Mrs. Powell was born Aug. 15, 1915, in Alamo to Joseph Patrick and Abbie Hill Tomlinson. She was the oldest living descendant of Enoch and Jemima GiddensTomlinson of Clinch County.
Reared in Adel, Mrs. Powell moved to Valdosta as a teenager and worked for Judge Harley Langdale before joining Roberts Insurance Agency, which became Blanton & Cross Insurance Agency. She was secretary-treasurer of Blanton and Cross and was unquestionably acknowledged as the person who knew more about insurance than anyone else in Valdosta.
She retired in her early 70s and became a member of the South Georgia Medical Center Auxiliary where she volunteered well into her 80s. She had the time in retirement to enjoy membership in the Literary Guild and Lowndes County Historical Society.
Mrs. Powell was a founding member of Park Avenue United Methodist Church where she held several leadership positions. She was a longtime member of the Elks Aidmore Auxiliary of Valdosta Elks Lodge #728 where Mr. Powell was a Past Exalted Ruler and she was a Bingo night regular.
She was constant in attending Valdosta High School Wildcat football games, never passed up a good game of poker and taught many a child how to win at the game. She was godmother to Johnathan Sellars of Brunswick and Lauren Sellars Prince of St. Simons Island.
Though she traveled throughout Europe and North America, Mrs. Powell took the greatest delight in sharing her home in Valdosta and house at Cherry Lake with family and friends, her children and their friends, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, friends' children and their grandchildren and sometimes even strangers.
In fact, after she was widowed, there were 13 toothbrushes in her bathroom, all kept there by people who regularly enjoyed her company.
She evolved into a great cook who turned out a dinner every Sunday then--determined by how much she had cooked--invited whomever she ran in to to join the family table after church where lively, sometimes six-way conversations ensued.
Though a frugal woman, Mrs. Powell was generous with her hospitality and private acts of charity, compassion and friendship. She held to traditional values but was progressive socially and politically. She accepted with grace whatever circumstances befell her and adapted to life changes.
Her oldest daughter, Juanita Ann Powell, 49, died of breast cancer in 1991, and Mr. Powell died in 1993.
Survivors include three daughters, Kay Powell of Smyrna, Martha Coppage of Valdosta and Mary Frank Wingate of Quitman and Mrs. Powell's beloved son-in-law, Joe Wingate; a sister, Carolyn Harris of Adel; two grandsons and their wives, Joseph Lyle Coppage and Kelli Coppage of Telluride, CO, and Benjamin Powell Wingate and Holly Wingate of Quitman; and three great-grandchildren, Holden Coppage of Telluride and Mary Anne Wingate and Monroe Wingate of Quitman.
The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at the Carson McLane Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Sunset Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Langdale Hospice House, 2251 Pineview Dr., Valdosta, GA 31602. Condolences may be conveyed online at www.mclanefuneralservices.com
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