Ranger Exes Memorial - RHS Class of 1940 RJC

William Powell WILLIAM JOE POWELL, M.D., 86, died Sept. 13, 2009. He was a devoted loving husband, father, and grand- father. His warmth, wit, and playful spirit will be missed by all. Bill was born June 3, 1923, in Pleasant Grove, Eastland County, TX, the only child of Aubrey Harrison and Mattie Stella Judd Powell. Bill grew up in the oil-boom town of Ranger, TX, where he was Valedictorian of RHS Class of 1940. He was a graduate of Ranger Junior College, the University of Texas, and UT Medical School. He taught anatomy and physiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch before interning at University Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan. He returned to UTMB where he spent five years in a general surgical residency. Bill was united with his "precious first and only wife," Pattie Jean Thomas, who survives him. As Bill wrote in 2004, "Pattie gave me a much better life than I could have had on my own or with anyone else." Bill served in the Navy during WW II and the Air Force during the Korean War, stationed initially at Parks AFB near San Francisco as a surgeon. He then went on to Randolph AFB near San Antonio to train as a Flight Surgeon. Bill served in that capacity in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and also spent time at Wheelus AFB in Tripoli, Libya. Bill returned to the States after 13 months with many harrowing tales and compelling stories that would enthrall his children and his grandchildren for many years to come. He moved to the Dallas area to serve as one of only two staff surgeons at the Veteran's Hospital in McKinney and then built a private practice as a general surgeon. He mused that he "never learned the art of shortcuts or finely timed office visits" but was happy that he "could practice medicine in the era of real relation- ships between the patient and the doctor." Bill was president of the Singleton Surgical Society, Texas delegate to the AMA, Chairman of Visiting Nurses, Chairman of the Dallas Flood Control Board and a member of the Dallas Roads & Planning Commission. Bill was also a member of the Council on World Affairs, the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club, and was on the board of the Richardson Symphony. He was committed to limited government and passionate about protecting individual liberties. When Bill retired, he and Pattie toured Iran, Russia, China, Africa, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong and traveled throughout Europe several times, as well as to Canada and Mexico. Bill and Pattie were blessed with sixty years together and six children: Cynthia Jean and Glen Powell of Austin, Kathleen Patrice (Taffy) Fish of Austin, Joan Kathryn and Don McNamara of Dallas, William Joe of Houston, Kimberly Ann and Michael Watkins of Emory, and Stephen Thomas of Austin, all of whom survive. Bill was loving grandfather to: Lauren, Glen, and Leslie Powell; Kathryn, Drew, Elizabeth and William Fish; J. Tommy, Danny, and Callie McNamara; Marcus and Morgan Watkins. Bill, known affectionately as GDad, left this message for them: "If you do what's right, you don't have to worry about what people think. Life is a series of problems; your quality of life depends on how you handle them." He will lovingly be remembered for his incomparable generosity, genuine interest in his patients and friends, brilliant sense of humor, amazing ability to understand and explain the most complicated topics, breadth and depth of knowledge, passion for learning, strength in the face of adversity, integrity, wisdom, and leadership. He loved life and took great pleasure in his family, friends, and dogs. He will be missed every day. When asked what he'd like to be remembered for, Bill said with a smile, "Just being me."