Donald Burton Powell

September 13, 1934October 18, 2011

Donald Burton Powell, 77, died surrounded by his family at his home in College Station on Tuesday, Oct. 18. A memorial service has been set for 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, at First Baptist Church in College Station, with burial following at College Station's Memorial Cemetery in the Aggie Field of Honor. Visitation scheduled for 6 to 8 pm Sunday, Oct. 23, at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station. He was born at home in Ardmore, Oklahoma, on Sept. 13, 1934, to John Douglas and Leola McDougel Powell. His family, which by then included his sister Juanola Bess (Nolie), moved to Houston in 1942 so his father could participate in the war efforts there. He was a 1952 graduate of Lamar High School in Houston and attended the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas where he was a member of the Class of 1956, the Corps of Cadets and the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band. He was a class officer, an editor of one of the campus magazines and, as a member of the Aggie Players, the campus theater group, he wrote, directed and produced the first Aggie musical comedy in 1955. He returned to A&M in 1970 following a brief time in the Army and a successful retail career with J.C. Penney, earning both a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration. He joined the A&M staff and served for many years as Director of Business Services, where he was responsible for one of the nation's largest and most successful college business operations which at that time included food services, the bookstore, printing and copying, photographic services, the golf course, University Center, airport operations and dormitory administration. He also established the school's bus operations program. Texas A&M's Student Government named him the university's Outstanding Administrator in 1986. National recognition came when he was elected President of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services. He became an award-winning writer for professional journals and was a co-author of the book College and University Business Administration. He also taught each summer at the College Business Management Institute at the University of Kentucky. When he retired he was named Director of Business Services Emeritus. He is, however, best known for his "extracurricular" activities at A&M. For more than 35 years he has spoken all over the United States and in Europe on behalf of A&M at Musters and other Aggie events. His Aggie sports cartoons have been published for 34 years, first in The Battalion and now in The Bryan-College Station Eagle. His television work included 20 years as host of the live telecast of the Aggie Bonfire on Fox Sports and nine years as the co-creator and original host of The Texas Aggie Band Show on PBS. He has twice served as President of the Texas Aggie Band Association and planned the band's successful centennial celebration in 1994. He also established the Eternal Aggie Band Endowment, which to date has raised more than $2 million to support the Aggie Band. He was a member of First Baptist Church in College Station, where he and his wife, Mary Jo, were part of the Cornerstone Class and previously taught two-year-olds in Sunday School for 18 years. He was preceded in death by his parents, John Douglas and Leola McDougle Powell; his first wife, Frances Jane Hulette Powell; his grandson, Levi Douglas Powell; his father-in-law, Donald Raymond Hibbert; his brother-in-law, Jerry Gene Foose; and several aunts and uncles. Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Mary Jo Powell; sons John Christopher Powell, wife Linda and daughter Amber, all of College Station; Robert Carlton Powell and wife Melissa, both of Tyler; Edward Clayton Powell and sons Logan and Zachry, also of College Station; and daughter Catherine Corkran, her husband David, and their daughters Christina and Caitlin; sister Nolie Foose of Arlington, nephew Brian Foose and his partner Wayne Strya of Fort Worth; mother-in-law Marilyn Hibbert of Naples, Fla., and a host of cousins. Memorial gifts may be made to the Eternal Aggie Band Endowment. Donations should be sent to the Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Dr., College Station, TX 77840-2811, with the memo line on the check reading "For Eternal Aggie Band/Donald Powell '56 Memorial." Mary Jo and the family extends special thanks to the caring professionals of both Hospice Brazos Valley and the St. Joseph Cancer Clinic who cared for Don during his 3 ½-year battle with colon cancer, and to all the members of the Cornerstone Sunday School Class at First Baptist-College Station, whose love, care, prayers and food enriched and encouraged us every day.


  • Funeral Service Monday, October 24, 2011
  • Visitation Sunday, October 23, 2011

Donald Burton Powell

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Robert Barlow

November 30, 2011

This was truly a sad day for all of Texas A.&M. Don will be greatly missed by all of us. My prayers and condolences to Mary Jo and his family members.

Robert C. Barlow '56

Barb Little

November 30, 2011

Mary Jo,
We are so very sorry for your loss. Don was a wonderful man of integrity. We will always treasure the memories of the Hibbert get togethers and with you and Don also.With our deepest sympathy.
Fran & Bill Wicks and daughter Barb Little

October 24, 2011

Mary Jo, Harriet and I appreciate Don's contributions to Texas A&M and to the Class of '56, especially in his and your efforts in compiling the 50th-year reunion book for the entire class. It is a treasure for each of us to have. He and you have left and are leaving a great legacy. May God bless you in this time of transition.


Joe Foster '56

Dee Ann & Elmer Schneider

October 24, 2011

Mary Jo,
We extend our heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. We both know the pain of losing your partner, friend and soul mate. Your faith has provide you strength to face each day through out Don's struggle. He will hold you in the palm of his hand through these tough and dark times.

The American Legion, Earl Graham Post 159

October 24, 2011

To express our deep sympathy to you on your loss. We thank Dr. Burton for serving our country in the U.S. Army. We thank you for your many contributions to Texas A&M University & the Brazos Valley. May God's Speed Be With This Soldier & His Family.
John Hince

John & Jenni Hibbert

October 24, 2011

Mary Jo, our thoughts and prayers are with you and the entire Powell family. Don put up a long, hard fight and although I know this is a very hard time, he is finally at peace and without pain. We love you. John, Jenni, Donald and Austin

October 23, 2011

Don and Mary Jo's courage during the years of fighting this dreadful disease are truly inspirational to all of us. I pray for God's grace and comfort to them and their family.

Robert C. Barlow '56 (Flagstaff, AZ)

Bill Gilbert

October 23, 2011

Mary Jo, may you and your family have many more Don was a BIG blessing not only to you but to all of A&M and the class "56.He will be remembered by us all, for the example and legacy he gave to us. Bill & Barbara Gilbert '56

William Swann

October 23, 2011

Farewell old roommate. You deserve the rest.
I'll always treasure our 59 year friendship.
Bill Swann
FTAB '56