OBITUARY

John Pike Powers IV

May 1, 1941October 31, 2021

Pike Powers passed away peacefully at home with family and friends on October 31, 2021. He was loved and adored by many but most of all by his grandchildren, children and wife, Pam. He will be missed dearly but his smile, that twinkle in his blue eyes and enthusiasm for life will never be forgotten.

John Pike Powers IV was born in 1941 to parents Mary Powers, a strong minded English teacher who had a penchant for global traveling and serving TV dinners, and John Pike Powers III, a salesman of things ranging many industries who was best known for telling jokes and never letting a room go still.

The Powers family moved from Houston to Beaumont in 1950. Pike graduated from Beaumont High School in 1959. His mother began her scrapbook around this time as his accomplishments began to become notable.

Pike graduated from Lamar University with a BA in Government in 1962. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and served as President of the Chapter. He met his wife, Pamela, met in 1967 at a Christmas party and they were married just a few weeks later. You can start to see that his charm was not to be ignored. He received his J.D. degree from the University of Texas Law School in 1965 and served in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves from 1965-1971, receiving an honorable discharge.

Pike was admitted to the Bar in 1965 and his legal career began as a trial lawyer at Strong, Pipkin and Nelson (later Strong Pipkin Nelson Parker and Powers) but it didn’t take long for him to start eyeing the campaign trail. Pike enjoyed campaigning for office and worked hard to get his votes, often heading off the refineries to shake hands in the early hours.

Pike was elected to represent Jefferson County in the Texas House of Representatives from 1972 to 1979 including serving as a delegate to the 1974 Constitutional Convention. He was Vice-Chair of the House State Affairs Committee in 1973 and served on the committees that considered and passed all nine of the “Sharpstown Reform” bills that same year. He was a member of the House Appropriations Committee during his last term in the Legislature. It would be 1983 before Pike would resume his public service as Chief of Staff to Governor Mark White in his administrations first year, 1983-1984.

In 1978, Pike was offered and accepted the chance to open the Austin office of Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright). Austin was still a sleepy college town at this point but Pike had a vision and quickly saw the value in the trifecta of government, top tier education, and location that made Austin a winner. He was partner-in-charge for 26 years, leading and overseeing the growth of Fulbright’s Austin office to 100 lawyers. He remained an active partner until 2006 when he became “of counsel” to the firm.

Pike was named one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the United States by the National Law Journal in 1985, 1988, 1991 and 1994 and has been listed in the “Best Lawyers in America” in 2006 and 2007.

Pike served on the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas and was elected President and Chairman of the Board of the Texas Young Lawyers Association in state wide elections. He was President of theJefferson County Texas Junior Bar and a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Pike Powers served as a delegate to the American Bar Association’s governing legislative body, its House of Delegates for 22 years, representing three different constituencies- the Young Lawyer’s division, the State Bar of Texas and the Bar Association’s general membership in five successive successful delegate-at-large elections. He was a long time member of the prestigious ABA Standing Committee for the Federal Judiciary as the representative of the Fifth Circuit (Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi). Earlier Pike served as Speaker and Clerk of the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association and as Secretary of the Litigation Section. He served on the Board of the American Bar Insurance Plan for four years and remained as a Sustaining Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

In his community and civic service, Pike served as the president of the Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) and was one of its longest serving members. He was a founder, chair and faculty member of the Leadership Austin Academy for Public Service. Pike was one of the founders of the Capital Area Transportation Coalition and served as its president from 1999 to 2001. Powers was on the initial board to create the Austin Technology Incubator in 1989 and remained there until Dr. George Kozmetsky transformed the group to be the IC2 Advisory Board in 1994/1995.

Other roles and services include: Member, Austin Chamber of Commerce- Economic Development Council, Opportunity Austin Boards I & II, and Freescale Task Force and Chairman in 1989, Board of Trustees of St. Edward’s University from 1983-1989, Mark White’s Science and Technology Council from 1983-1986 and Governor Rick Perry’s Science and Bio-Technology Council 2002-2003, American Electronics Association- Texas Council Co-Chair, Austin Technology Council- Board Member, the UT Astronomy Board for over 20 years, McDonald Observatory- Chair of Board of Visitors from 1985-1987, Board of Visitors for the Law, Engineering and Education schools of the University of Texas, among others.

He received the 2003 Austin Business Journal Lifetime Achievement Award, the University of Texas Austin Technology Incubator honored him with the Laura Kilcrease Community Business Leadership Award in 2003, the Commendation of Excellence from the Real Estate Council of Austin in 2005, Austinite of the Year in 2005 by the Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Legend Award by American Electronics Association in 2007, and the Neil Kocurek Legacy Award for Community Stewardship in 2009 and Texan of the Year in 1917.

Pike’s charm was accompanied by an affable approachability which landed him an enviable collection of friends and allies. He never stopped adding to his contact list and was always curious about whomever he might meet on the street, at a party or the gas station. He had a chronic desire to try good ideas and was open to hearing any up for offer He was the perfect concoction of person to help transform the Austin and Central Texas Region.

Pike Powers played an integral role in developing Texas’ technology capabilities over the past 40+ years. With the crucial collaboration of universities and state and local communities, he has helped advance Texas’ high tech, information and entrepreneurial economy through his leadership in attracting landmark research and development operations, MCC and Sematech, and in recruiting major employers such as Applied Materials, 3M and Samsung, among others.

How did Pike get so many things accomplished? He would interrupt here and give credit to all those he worked with along the way. The magnitude of what was accomplished could only be cultivated with the work of many hands and the support of his family. Pike held an open mind, valued the contributions of others, refused to give up, never tired of challenge, kept his humor and wits about him, celebrated his wins, didn’t get stuck on his losses, and ignored his own aches and pains.

Pike’s strongest qualities were his ability to collaborate and delegate. He was more interested in what the success meant for the greater whole and the Central Texas Region than any individuals involved, though he wanted great things for all those he encountered. His legacy lives on in the area’s tech community.

Pike has been a principal participant in mobilizing the ever-growing high tech community to create a business, civic and philanthropic network that work together. He has been a “civic entrepreneur” that has shaped the collaborative, inclusive environment driving the future of Austin.

Pike, self-described as “just a short, round faced boy from Beaumont,” loved University of Texas sports, Bruce Springsteen, and key lime pie but loved his friends and family most. His time spent connected with others was his life’s delight. He fought until the last moments for more of this time and is waiting for his turn to see each and every one of you again.

Pike is survived by his wife Pamela Honea Powers, son John Pike Powers V, daughter Shannon Powers and husband Kevin Michael Flahive, grandchildren, John Pike Powers VI (JP), Josephine Reagan Powers, Lorelei Powers Flahive, William Carey Flahive, Richard Gwin Powers, and Scout Powers Carr as well as too many admirers and friends to count.

We thank his caregivers for excellent care and Hospice Austin for proving comfort in his final days. Memorial Service TBD.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

John Pike Powers IV

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Melissa Simpler

November 18, 2021

Pike Powers, or "Many Ps" as he like to be referred was my mentor, advisor, and friend whom I will sorely miss. I first met him in 1997 on the Nerd Bird (the AUS-SJC AA direct flight) where I was going to the Embedded Systems Conference wearing my Motorola branded button down. He sat next to me (in coach class) and struck up a conversation. The very next day, my husband got a phone call from him ... where Pike counseled Jeff where to take me for our upcoming anniversary dinner. He had a photographic memory (as many of you are aware) and Jeff and I both marveled at all the detail Pike retained about that initial conversation, including where my husband worked (to make that call). I was very early in my first career following my BSEE degree and he opened my naive engineering eyes to the worlds of economic development, public-private partnership, the importance of lawyers (ha!), and so much more. Pike and I continued to meet for lunch, an occasional happy hour, and he frequently invited me to networking events where he'd introduce me to others he felt I should know. Pike was one of the first to encourage me to leave the "Motorola Mothership" to plunge into the startup world, starting my own business in 2003, Affinegy. Over the years of Affinegy, 2003-2019, Pike continued to mentor me and also served on our Advisory Board for a number of years. He helped me navigate some of the toughest twists and turns of the Wild West of making and cultivating a business and was always so easy to talk to. He had big ideas and ran after them; he connected people and had good success with lassoing action; he led by example; and treated everyone with respect. Pike Powers legacy will live on in each of us and in the history he's part of in helping Austin rise to one of the top 10 cities in the USA.

Bill Hulsey

November 16, 2021

Pike was an amazing visionary and coach for so many. In 1988, I was a young engineer with an interest in regional economics. In preparing my MA thesis in entrepreneurial economics, I learned of Pike, Kozmetsky, Gibson, Kilcrease, Inman, The IC2 Institute and MCC, as well as and so many events and people who made tangible the vision of Austin's City of Ideas.

By 1990 I had moved my young family to Texas and then to Austin to participate in the mission as one of the small number of patent lawyers ready to serve Austin entrepreneurs. Pike's enthusiasm enabled this vision and my professional path from which I grew a beautiful family and many friends. In all my days as a lawyer, Pike has been my role model and inspiration.

I saw Pike two months ago and, while it was clear I would soon miss him, it was equally clear that his passion for Austin and Texas had waned in no measure at all. We should all be so filled with a mission and vision that carries us throughout our days as that held and shared by Pike. Pike, thanks so much for all you did. Austin and the world are clearly better places because of you. You gave so many of us a purpose and direction.

Kimberly Carter

November 16, 2021

What a gift he had for making and maintaining friendships! I was an Austin newbie in 1981 at my first job, and Pike was on the board of the organization. He literally taught me the meaning of a "can-do" attitude. He came to my wedding, and always remembered my birthday. And I know I was one of thousands of friends he made over the years but he had a laser focus when talking to you and genuinely cared. Austin, and Texas, are better places to be because of Pike's compassion and energy.

Celia Crittenden

November 10, 2021

I have to brag. I had Pike’s fraternity pen til
he took it back. I was an undergrad and he was in law school. I had chased him til I got him. Now I am so proud of all the wonderful
things that have been said about him-showed I had good taste!! What a twinkle had always had in his eye!! Everyone will miss you, Pike!!

Clarke Heidrick

November 9, 2021

All of us who have enjoyed the growth of Austin into the unique and vibrant place that it is today can thank Pike Powers for his grand vison and passion. He was a master of connecting and making happen what needed to happen . The very foundation of Pike was genuine friendships and trust. Im grateful to have known Pike Powers and for the contributions he made to his community that will benefit us all for generations to come.

Bill Renfro

November 9, 2021

A good man and good friend! He will be missed. God Bless🙏

Jeff Trigger

November 9, 2021

One of my favorite Pike Powers' memories was having lunch with him a few years back at my Second Bar+ Kitchen Restaurant downtown.
I had my notebook out and started trying to map his response after I innocently asked him "what have you been up to lately, Pike".
I ended up with a facinating flow-chart diagram that filled a blank page with dozens of interesting connections all paying tribute to his wisdom, love of community, and generosity of spirit.
I doubt that I will ever meet anyone more involved and engaged with his vast community of colleagues, organizations and friends than Pike Powers.
He was one-in-a-million and will be remembered and missed tremendously.

Mary Scott Nabers

November 9, 2021


Texas lost a wonderful leader with the passing of my friend Pike Powers. He leaves an incredible legacy. I send condolences to all his family and wish there was something more I could do. I, along with all of Pike's friends, share your grief.

Dr. Sterling Lands II

November 8, 2021

I moved to Austin in 1984 from St. Louis. I had been in Austin a little less than 18 months when I received a call from Pike Powers.

He reached out to me with the clear intent of getting me involved in all that was going forth in Austin and Travis County.

I did not know him or his portfolio, but I sensed that he was a serious man who felt the seriousness of the times.

Given the state of racial strife at that time across Texas and locally in Austin and Travis County, I found it refreshing to have received his call and invitation to meet.

I offer my sincere condolences to the family of this great man.

Blessings, ++Sterling Lands II

Scott Flack

November 8, 2021

Pike was a GIANT of a man. He developed big, game-changing ideas and masterfully built consensus around them. He cared deeply about Texas and it’s future generations-settling for nothing short of greatness.

Thank you, Pike for dreaming big and executing even bigger! Above all, thank you for your kindness and for the time you took to share with me and to give so generously to so many others. I know you are with our Lord in heaven and I envision you catching up with your dear friends-among them, the man who introduced us so many years ago- Lowell Lebermann! God speed, Pike!

FROM THE FAMILY