July 12, 1928 - March 10, 2015
Pattie Jean (Thomas) Powell, 86, of Dallas died 10 March 2015. She was a devoted, adoring wife, mother, and grandmother whose charm, generosity, warmth, and compassion will be missed by everyone who knew her.
Pattie was born 12 July 1928 in Woodsboro, Refugio County, Texas, the only daughter of Edgar and Lacolian (Eastham) Thomas. Pattie was the valedictorian of Woodsboro High School in 1944. At fifteen, she was accepted into the Plan II Honors program at the University of Texas, began the program at sixteen, and graduated at nineteen. She was accepted into the Ph.D. program at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston where she met her husband, Bill. On 11 October 1952, in Utopia, Bandera County, Texas, Pattie married Bill (William Joe) Powell.
After Bill earned his MD and completed his Air Force tour of duty in the Middle East, they moved to the Dallas area. Pattie focused on raising their six only children. Over the years, Pattie served as a board member of Goals for Dallas and the American Cancer Society and was a founding member of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, the Richardson Symphony Orchestra Guild, the Community Concerts, the Richardson Ballet, and Teenpower, Inc. She also served the Presbyterian Church as a deacon, an elder, and the first woman in the presbytery.
Pattie served for 32 years on the Dallas County Community College District Board of Trustees. As the longest serving chairman in the board’s history, she worked with six chancellors building the nation’s largest and highest-rated community college system and was honored as the first trustee emeritus for the Dallas County Community College District. Pattie served as representative to the White House Conference on Productivity; was a board member for the Texas Association of Community College Trustees and Administrators; assumed leadership roles with the North Texas Association of Higher Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, and the Association of Community College Trustees; and was awarded AACT’s Dale Ensign Community College Leadership Award.
In 1980, she and her daughter Taffy started Powell Development & Resources, Inc. handling commercial real estate, joint ventures, and general partnerships in oil and gas.
When Bill retired, they traveled throughout Europe, Canada, Mexico, Iran, Russia, Africa, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Hong Kong. They were blessed with sixty years together.
Bill died on September 13, 2009, in Dallas. All six of their children survive her: Cynthia Jean and Glen Powell of Austin, Kathleen Patrice (Taffy) Fish of Austin, Joan Kathryn and Don McNamara of Dallas, William Joe of Dallas, Kimberly Ann of Dallas, Michael Watkins of Dallas, and Stephen Thomas and Amy Powell of Austin. Pattie was GMom to: Lauren, Glen, and Leslie Powell; Kathryn, Drew, Elizabeth, and William Fish; J, Tommy, Danny, and Callie McNamara; Marcus and Morgan Watkins; and Anna and Mary Campbell Powell.
Pattie will lovingly be remembered for her easy laugh, welcoming spirit, love of life, legendary kindness and goodness, and unrivaled strength and courage. She was an accomplished poet, musician, painter, and sculptor, but she considered her family her greatest work of art.
A celebration of Pattie’s life will be held at 3:00 pm, Sunday, March 22, at the First Presbyterian Church, 271 Walton Street, Richardson and after at 6300 Brookshire Drive, Dallas.
Memorial gifts can be made to the Pattie and Bill Powell Fund for the Dallas County Community College District at the Communities Foundation of Texas (www.cftexas.org/powell) or mailed to 5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, Texas 75225.
Arrangements are under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75252
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