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  Martinsville High School Alumni
Class of 1965 Reply  |   Post Message  |   Message List
Mary Jane Powell - 12
03/16/09     Frank(ie) Smith  (1965)      fhsvjs@juno.com
In browsing the website, I saw a message on the 1968 class that said Miss Powell has died. For those of us who had her for English and/or History, I think you would agree that she was one of the best. I copied the following obituary from the Martinsville Bulletin:

Mary Jane Powell
Died Saturday, March 14, 2009
Mar 15, 2009

Mary Jane Powell, 89, of Lawrenceville, died Saturday, March 14, 2009, at Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill following a brief illness.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two sisters, Frances Powell and Dorothy P. Dore; and four brothers, Eugene, Hunter, Richard and Robert Powell.

She was a graduate of Mary Washington University and received a master’s degree from the University of Virginia. She began her teaching career in Phoebus, followed by nine years in Lawrenceville and 32 years in Martinsville.

She was a member of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church and was active in Piedmont Arts Assocation for many years. She also was a member of Pleasant Grove U.M.W, the Sunshine Club and the Red Hats Society.

Surviving are a brother, Benjamin P. Powell of Broadnax; two sisters, Louise P. Stone of Chandler, Ariz., and Katherine P. Burge of Dolphin; and nine nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Williams Funeral Home with burial in Crestview Memorial Park in LaCrosse.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 8:30 p.m. today at the funeral home in Lawrenceville.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or to Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, 6457 Grandy Road, Broadnax, Va. 23920.

03/17/09     The former Jenkie Willard  (1965)      Flwillard007@aol.com
Re: Mary Jane Powell
Many years ago I thought that Miss Powell must be my "nemesis", i.e., 'punishment from the Gods for wrongdoing...etc.'.

I first meet her as both my eighth grade
home-room and English teacher. Wow, on her
first vocabulary test (which of course I
didn't study the list of voodoo words), my
brillant mind missed 18 out of 20! Being
somewhat distraught, I approached Miss Powell and asked her how I could improve.

"Well, JANKEY" she began, "Have you ever seen the 'it pays to increase your Word Power' article in each monthly Readers' Digest? That's an easy way to learn new
words and increase your vocabulary!"

So starting in 1960 or so, I began religiously reading the Word Power section.

Fast forward to this morning:, some forty-nine (49) years later while I was waiting to see the dentist: I grabbed an
old Readers' Digest and went immediately to
the Word Power section--old Habits are hard to break!

Thank you Miss Powell!

10/30/09     Audra Whitlow  (1965)      nufkids@aol.com
Re: Mary Jane Powell
I'm so behind. So sorry to hear about Mary Jane (as some of us called her from afar). She was a really good teacher. She attempted to be strict; she actually was. However, some of us saw her masking a chuckle at our antics. Those of us who had Hilda Marshall in 7th grade were pretty well-prepared for her.
Doesn't it make you feel old that our elders are slipping away? Does that mean we are the elders now? OUCH!
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