WILLIAM KENNETH POWELL was a man with deep roots in Texas and deep spiritual roots in his Christian faith. He was born in Crystal City, Texas on April 4, 1938, and lived his entire life in Texas. He died at home in San Antonio on December 13, 2022, at the age of 84, surrounded by his loving wife and all his children. William was involved in education from the beginning of his life. His grandmother taught in a one-room Texas school house, his parents were both schoolteachers and he became a public schoolteacher, but he was truly so much more than that. He was a special education supervisor, a rancher, a carpenter, a faithful husband, a wonderful father, and Baptist deacon. He was strong, gentle, talented, generous and humble, and above all, loving.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Virginia Ruth Estes Powell and his three children: daughters Laura D. Heard (John) and Deanna L. Bailey (William) as well as son William M. Powell (Patricia Sanchez). He is also survived by his four grandchildren, Amy C. Heard Farish (Jonathon), Kelsey E. Bailey, Joshua M. Heard, Kendra E. Bailey, and his great-grandson William W. Farish. Additionally, he is survived by his sister Lee Powell Ruby and brothers Thomas Jefferson Powell and James Eldon Powell. Gone to heaven before him were his mother Erie Irene Powell, father William Powell, and sister Ruth Powell Walker.
William Kenneth Powell spent much of his youth in Uvalde, Texas, where he and his brothers had a newspaper route that covered all of Uvalde. He graduated from Uvalde High School where he met his future bride. After serving in the reserves of the Army Corps of Engineers building bridges, William then attended Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde and went on to earn a degree in Agriculture specializing in soil conservation at Sul Ross University in Alpine, Texas in 1960. Because the Texas Agriculture Commission did not have an opening for soil conservation at that time, he instead began teaching migrant children at Airport No. One, the public school in Crystal City, Texas which had served as a Japanese internment camp during World War II. He went on to teach math and science in San Antonio at Harlandale Junior High and later obtained his master’s degree in Special Education from Our Lady of the Lake University. He rose in his career to become supervisor of special education for a co-op of 13 school districts in south Texas including Harlandale and Southside ISDs. He was ordained as a deacon in the Baptist Church and served throughout his life at various churches including Brookhill Baptist, Hot Wells Baptist, Harlandale Baptist and First Baptist Church in Camp Wood. He had a true servants’ heart and gave anonymously to many people in need.
William was physically a very strong man; he was once thrown from a bull, only to get up and give chase to it. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, beekeeping, raising cattle and rabbits, landscaping, carpentry, camping, and traveling. He loved animals and thunderstorms. He loved music and encouraged all of his children to take music lessons. He could fix anything from rebuilding an automobile engine, repairing major appliances, and even fixing the voice box on a little girl’s doll left in the rain. He loved to peel oranges and cut up cantaloupe for his grandchildren and to let them ride along in his tractor. He taught all his children and grandchildren to hunt and fish. He emphasized the importance of education and of faith in Jesus. He built a sturdy house with his own two hands in 1963 that his wife still lives in today, and he made that house a home.
The viewing will be from 4 - 6 p.m. at Sunset North Funeral Home on Friday, December 16, 2022. A funeral service will be held in the same location on Sunday, December 18, 2022 at 2:30 p.m. A second memorial service will be in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. at Rushing-Estes-Knowles Funeral Home, followed by internment at the Montell cemetery. The family would like to thank pallbearers William Bailey, Carl Esser, Jonathon Farish, Joshua Heard, William Michael Powell, Bobby Ruby, Edward Walker, and honorary pallbearer John Heard.