Robert L. Powell, Jr.
July 10, 1920 – October 4, 2019
Robert Lee Powell, Jr. passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family members on Friday, the 4th of October 2019, at the age of 99. Born on the 10th of July 1920 in Lometa, Texas, the only child of Robert Lee Powell, and Ethel Slye, Bob grew up in Texarkana, Texas. He attended Texas A&M University as part of the Class of 1944. However, like so many of his Greatest Generation contemporaries, World War II interrupted his college education.
During the war, he served as a sergeant in Able Company, 89th Chemical Mortar Battalion, attached to the 79th Infantry Division for light artillery support. During the 79th Division’s Rhine River Bridgehead operations located on the northern border of Germany, his 4.2 heavy mortar company received a commendation for maintaining a 4,000’ smoke screen barrage for 36 continuous hours firing approximately 10,500 rounds of shrapnel, high explosives, and white phosphorus projectiles weighting approximately 25 pounds each, while the Division crossed the Rhine River. After the war, Bob continued his service to the country, remaining in the Army Reserves and teaching artillery ballistics. He obtained the rank of LT. Colonel before retiring.
Upon returning from the war, Bob returned to Texas A&M and graduated with a degree in Floriculture. Following college, he moved to Houston for work where he met and married Gladie Jo Walter in 1950, sharing 64 years together before her death in 2014. They made their home together raising their family in Bellaire, Texas. He founded as owner/operator Powell’s Greenhouses and Farms, supplying for many years tropical foliage and seasonal flowering plants to many florists in the Greater Houston area. After selling his business, Gladie Jo and Bob traveled the world with friends and family always returning home with numerous tales of adventures and lists of new friends met during their travels.
Bob had a strong sense of family and purpose. He volunteered in Indian Guides, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting and fishing outings with family and friends. He was especially fond of his annual family fishing trips to Creede, Colorado, father/son group fishing trips to Canada, family fishing trips to Arkansas, and seasonal dove hunting trips “with the guys.” At the end of each day on the trips or at family gatherings he would always manage to weave into the conversation – “It doesn’t get any better than this!”
Bob is preceded in death by his wife, Gladie Jo, and his parents. He is survived by his three children: Marilynn Huffman and her husband Rick, Diane Huffman and her husband Mike, and Robert Lee Powell, III and his wife Kathy. He is also survived by grandchildren, Melissa Huffman and her husband Matt McCaslin, Amy Huffman, Leslie Kelton and her husband Billy, Andy Huffman, Ashley Zummo and her husband David, Carolyn Powell, and Kendall Powell. He was blessed with three great grandchildren.
The family would also like to recognize and thank Bob’s caregivers, Alma Lyons, and Vanessa Lewis for their companionship, and tender and compassionate care for the many years as a part of our family.
A memorial service is to be conducted at twelve o’clock noon on Saturday, the 12th of October in the chapel of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer Road in Houston, where the Rev. Thomas Harper, Associate Pastor of Caring Ministries, is to officiate.
Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception to be held in the adjacent Hines Baker Room.
Prior to service, the family will have gather for a private Interment at Memorial Oaks Cemetery.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests contributions in memory of Robert Lee Powell, Jr. to be directed to the Gladie Jo Powell Visiting Scholar in Cancer Research in care of The Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 4384, Houston, Texas 77210-4384.
Gladie Jo Powell Visiting Scholar in Cancer Research in care of The Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation
P.O. Box 4384, Houston, Texas 77210
- Memorial Service Saturday, October 12, 2019
Robert L. Powell, Jr.
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October 10, 2019
Lee - we were so sorry to read about the passing of your dear father. 99 years was a wonderful accomplishment. You always spoke so highly of your father - I know he will be missed my many. Our condolences to you and your family.
IN THE CARE OF