Dorothy Black Powell

Published 12:44 pm Friday, October 6, 2023

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Dorothy Black Powell, 89, of Sanford, Alabama, passed away at Andalusia Manor on Oct. 6.

She leaves behind her loving husband, James Forest Powell, with whom she shared 68 years together. She is also survived by her daughter, Sheri D. Powell of Sanford; son, Gregory F. Powell, Ph.D. (Dr. Cheryl Blanck) of Andalusia; and brother, John Frank Black (Phyllis) of Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Edward E. Black and Leosia Maughon Black, and her brother, Edward E. Black Jr.

Dorothy Powell, or “Dot’ as many called her, had a passion for education and was an educator for over 40 years. After graduating from Straughn High School, she obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Troy State University now Troy University. She was also awarded a post-secondary degree from Auburn University for those working in the education field.

She began her teaching career at Springfield Elementary School in Panama City but soon moved back to Alabama where she spent most of her 40-year career teaching the first grade in Opp, Alabama. She retired in June 1995 from South Highlands Elementary School. For years after her retirement, there were still people who would come up to her and say, “You taught me in first grade” or “you taught my son” or “you taught my daughter.” This was usually followed by the person saying how much she meant to them for being such a caring and thoughtful teacher.

While one of her greatest joys came from helping children learn to read, her other passion was fishing. She considered fishing as her way to relax and would often fish for hours even if nothing was biting but the mosquitoes.

Dorothy Powell was also devoted to her community in Sanford. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Sanford and played piano there for more than 50 years. During those years, she taught Sunday school for all age groups.

She will be sorely missed by her loving family and extended family of former students and friends. For those of you who want to participate in the celebration of her life, visitation with the family will be held at Foreman-Brown Funeral Home on Monday, Oct. 9, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Graveside services will follow at the First Baptist Church of Sanford Cemetery at noon.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church of Sanford.

Family and friends may sign the online register at