Betty Powell

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Betty Mae Jenkins Powell, 84, of Marthaville passed from this life on April 23, 2019. She was born to Willis Edward Jenkins and Lucille Ammons Jenkins on April 1, 1935 in Robeline.

In the pages of the Bible, the Lord inspired the question, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies…”; though she would never have claimed it, in the gentle, sincere nature of Betty Powell that question was answered. She was always happy; happy with what and whom God had given her and dedicated to her charge. To her, the heart of a person mattered most; she lived life simply, and without pretense, thankful for her many blessings. Behind Betty Mae’s sweet smile and soft-spoken voice was an inner strength, a strength of character, that fought for the goodness in others, established peace in the hearts of her family through life’s struggles, and loved unapologetically, without limitation and without condition.

At the young age of 16, her fiery red hair and freckles caught the eye of a certain young man; on that day, during that first glance into each other’s eyes, she met her soul’s companion, Bill Powell. On May 19, 1951, they were married, and their two great characters brought together. She would be at his side for the next 65 years, sharing an absolute love that produced nine children and devotedly reared their grandson, Nolan Jr., as a son. Bill and Betty Mae complemented each other in every way; his passion and toughness harmonized with her sensitivity and tenderness. She was gifted with a servant’s heart, and her life was focused on the wellbeing of those around her.

Prompt and prepared, Betty was early for everything, rising early and working hard for many years to create an inviting home: where homemade biscuits and leftover breakfast, cornbread and field peas, and cokes and snacks were always readily available to visitors; a supply of goodies and gifts were kept for her children and grandchildren; and hours of welcoming conversation were enjoyed that would always end with a hug and question of “What’s yawls rush?”

She loved antiquing, and over the years, she assembled an extensive collection of antiques and treasures that she found on constant flea market excursions. “Granny” or “Mamaw”, she was a proud grandmother and bragged often about her grandchildren, making each of them feel as if they were her favorite. Fishing was not just a hobby for her, it was a way of life, and had a unique method to jig and catch perch, spending countless hours fishing with her sons. “For her price is far above rubies”, Betty Mae’s generous giving, not of earthly goods, but of her love, made an immeasurable impact on many hearts and defined for her family the meaning of unconditional. As she ended her visit on this Earth and passed into the arms of her Lord, greeted by Bill, many hearts cried to her “What’s your rush?” and in Heaven, Betty Mae calmly responded with a smile, the way she was answered for so many years, “I’m not rushing, I’ll see yawl soon.”

Left to honor her memory are her 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, Garland Powell and wife Anita, Stacy Powell and wife Dana, and Nolan Powell Jr. and wife Shawn; daughters-in-law, Patsy Powell and Yvonne Rawls Powell; twin-brother and best friend, Bobbie Ray Jenkins; 25 grandchildren; 50 great-grandchildren; 2 great great-grandchildren; and a host of family and friends.

Preceding Betty in death is her husband of 65 years, Bill Powell; her parents; beloved sons, Nolan Powell Sr., Dana Dean Powell and an infant son; grandson, Casey Edward Powell; son-in-law, James Greifzu; and brothers, Vernon Jenkins, Herman Jenkins and Michael Jenkins.

In the same manner as her soulmate, Bill, a simple graveside service honoring Betty’s life was held on April 25, at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Robeline, with Bro. Glynn Howard officiating. Burial followed. In lieu of flowers, she asked that donations be made to her favorite charities, St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital or the Shriners Hospital in Shreveport.

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