Deacon Pernell Powell, passed from labor to reward on September 22, 2018 at Woodhaven Rehabilitation Center among his family. Deacon Pernell was the son of the Late Ola Thompson Powell and Hilton Powell. He affectionately loved and adored his 12 siblings that included Ahijah, Hubert, Charles, Stacy, Felton, Mosel, Elston, Norwood, Addie, Berea, Pauline, and Vertie. They all preceded him in death.
Deacon Pernell was united in marriage to the former Ellouise McDougald on April 3, 1949. In sickness and health, he affectionately put her well-being before his own. He was a dedicated husband and father. This union brought six children. He proudly served as a lead foreman for Seaboard Railroad (CSX) for 40 plus years. He was considered a “Gandy Dancer” or section hand in which he coordinated songs in a rhythmic pattern to complete task related work chants, while laying down railroad tracks. He would lead his workers in a song to lay down the tracks. Hence, his lead voice in church. He was a faithful member of Sandy Grove Baptist
Church until his illness. He served as a faithful deacon, choir/praise team member, Sunday School superintendent, member of the and Robeson County Baptist Union. He was a lover of hymnals and was considered to be a hymnologist. He knew almost all of the hymnals, verses included. He will be forever remembered for his adlib (OHHHHHHHHH!!) to every hymn! His pass times were to record songs from the church services and sing them at home. His favorite hymn was “Blessed Assurance” and “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less.” Deacon Pernell enjoyed working in his yard while planting flowers and vegetables in his garden. He also spent a lot of time manicuring and maintaining the upkeep of the Powell family cemetery.
Many people knew him for visiting nursing homes, hospitals and the sick and shut in. No matter the race, age, or location he would visit and spread his love, prayers, and joy to all. Even in his sickness, he would call, inquire, visit, and send cards to the sick and shut in. He never met a stranger and was a well-respected member of this community that loved Christ and all those he encountered. He was affectionately known as “Granddaddy” by many. People often joked about his firm handshake and hearty pat on the back! He was famous for his favorite quote, “It’s just nice to be nice!”
He was preceded in death by a grandson, Derrick Powell. He leaves to cherish a loving wife, Deaconess Ellouise Powell; Six children; Ronald (Helen), Russell (Cheryl), Sammy (Ivory), Dianne, Vickie (Orlando), Erica (Ray); sister in law Madre Powell;12 Grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; devoted friends Wanda Carter, Linda Carter, Dr. Robin Peace, Jessie Crump, Sarah Crump and Jesse High; a host of several nieces, nephews, family and friends.