James P. Powell: May 2, 2018

Published 12:04 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2018

AMERICUS — James Preston Powell, 89, of Americus, died Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at his home. A native of Big Springs, Tenn., he was born Dec. 29, 1928, to the late Frank Preston Powell and Mary Dugger Powell.


Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, May 4, 2018, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Americus. The Rev. Sam Maves and the Rev. Randy Saye will officiate the service. The family will receive friends immediately following the service at the church.


Preston grew up in a tenant house on the Tennessee River, living the farm life; attended a two-room schoolhouse in Cottonport, Tenn., and Redbank Elementary in Chattanooga. In 1939, his family moved to Sweetwater, Tenn., and began farming a 1,000-acre dairy farm. He attended Sweetwater High School and Tennessee Military Institute; he then spent two years at Vanderbilt University before graduating from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a bachelor of science in agriculture. He served in the United States Air Force from 1951-1954 as a meat/dairy inspector with his best friend Allan Kise.


After chasing her all over the UT campus, he won the heart of Sheila Rose Cochran of Alcoa, Tenn., and they were married in 1951. She preceded him in death in 2008. He was blessed to find love again in Mary Faye Thomas Dudley Powell, whom he married in 2011; and she preceded him in death in 2015.


In 1954, he bought a dairy farm in Sweetwater, Tenn., where he milked 300 cows. In 1968, with his brother, Richard Franklin Powell, and cousin, Fred Edgemon, they purchased the 3,800-acre farm in Americus, Ga. Later, this became Powell Farms, a 1,000+ cow dairy farm with many dear employees. Preston and Richard expanded their operation to include a 23,000-acre ranch in Whitman, Neb., as well as a 200-acre feedlot in Brule, Neb., and Simplex Nails in Americus.


Preston was well-known for his passion for cows, corn, irrigation pivots, storytelling, his thirst for knowledge, and playing mischievous pranks on family members and friends. He was a Trustee, Deacon, and Elder at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, a member of the Americus Rotary Club for over 30 years, and a member of the Sons of the Confederacy. From humble beginnings, he went on to travel all over the world, including Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela, Canada, Germany, Russia, and Alaska.


Survivors include a daughter, Teresa Powell Vogt, and her children, Jonathan Luther Trask and Kassandra Rose Vogt; daughter, Pam Powell Carson and her husband Todd of Americus, and her children, Chuck (Megan) Carson, Jessica Carson (Preston) Phillips, and Shelby Elizabeth Carson (Brandan) Bailey; three great-grandchildren; and two sisters: Rebecca Powell Franklin and Mary Beth Powell Rogers.


In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers: Harold Dugger Powell and Richard Franklin Powell.


The family suggests memorial donations be made to: Phoebe-Sumter Hospice, P.O. Box 1434, Americus GA 31709 or to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 6343, Americus GA 31709.


You may sign the online guest book at www.greghancockfuneralchapel.com


Greg Hancock Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.