Gayle Wells Powell, 94, was received into Heaven Saturday, June 4, 2022, after a sudden decline in her health. Gayle was born in Rose Hill, July 12, 1927, to William Stokes Wells and Ruby Matthews Wells.
Gayle was predeceased by her husband Ben W. (Buster) Powell Jr., of 56 years; two brothers, William Stokes Wells Jr. and Harold Boney Wells Sr.
She attended Meredith College in Raleigh and moved to Whiteville soon after to work in the Columbus County Extension Service and later taught home economics at Whiteville High School.
She was an active member of Whiteville First Baptist Church, teaching youth and later the Gleaners Sunday school class; was a Girls Auxiliary (GA’s) leader and a member of numerous committees that supported the life of the church.
In 1987, she was elected as the first female deacon of the church and received a special recognition by the church as Deacon Emeritus in 2021. She served on the Board of Trustees at Meredith College. She was an active member and past president of the Aza-Melia Garden Club. She had a passion for gardening, flowers and caring for and maintaining her gardens up to her very last days. She was also a member of the Garden Club of North Carolina and a statewide flower judge.
A service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9, at First Baptist Church. The family will receive those who wish to offer condolences at 1 p.m. in the church fellowship hall. A family burial service will be held beforehand. McKenzie Mortuary is serving the family.
She is survived by her sister, Carolyn Wells (Charles); two sons, Ben W. Powell III (Harriet) and W. Grayson Powell (Darlene); six grandchildren, Meg Ming (John), Greyson Bateman (Adam), Ben Powell IV (Holly), W. Grayson Powell Jr., Charlie Powell and Grae Powell; two great-grandchildren, William and Avery Bateman; and several endeared and attentive nieces, nephews and their children.
The family wishes to thank her caregivers, Gale Sellers, Denise Jones, Annette Hinson and Nancy Waddell for their tender care and kind devotion to her health and comfort over the past several years as well as many friends who visited, prayed and attended to her.
Memorials may be sent to Whiteville First Baptist Church, 412 N. Madison St., Whiteville, N.C. 28472, Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity, 3310 Fredrickson Rd. Wilmington, N.C. 28401 or The Upper Room, 1908 Grand Ave., Nashville, Tenn. 37212.