Thomas Powell

Obituary of Thomas Powell

Thomas Early Powell, Sr. 76, our loving father, brother, grandfather, uncle and friend departed this life on December 16, 2017 in Bridgeton, New Jersey due to his failing health. Thomas was born on May 8, 1941 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia to the late Samuel H. Powell and the late Emma Pruitt-Powell. 

Thomas received his education in the Virginia Public School System. He was raised in the Watson Level Baptist Church of Chatham, Virginia under the leadership of the late Pastor Jack Wilson and the late Katie McKenzie and later on attended The Church of the Living God Pillar and Ground of the Truth in Bridgeton, New Jersey under the leadership of the late Bishop Ethel Scippio.

Thomas began working at an early age on the farm in Cedarville, NJ. He later was employed at Joseph Toye Iron Foundry for ten years until its closing. Shortly after, he started his own business, The Powell’s Trash Removal Service, while simultaneously working at Clement Pappas for nineteen years until his retirement.

Thomas moved to Bridgeton in 1964, where he resided until the death of his wife in 2005. He later moved back to his hometown of Gretna, Virginia for ten years. Due to his health illnesses, Thomas moved back to New Jersey in 2015, to be with his loved ones. 

Thomas enjoyed going to hear the gospel groups: the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Russell Singers, and Gospel Keynotes. He also enjoyed spending time with his family. He had a love for traveling, fishing, and his favorite hobby was hunting.

Thomas leaves to cherish his memories: four children: Emma Fountain, Sherry Chatum, Maxine Davis (John) and Thomas Powell, Jr. his sister: Shirley Robertson (Ned) of Gretna, Virginia, brother: Milton Powell (Rosa) of Java, Virginia and adopted brother, Winfield Powell of Accomack, Virginia; Aunt: Elizabeth Dyson of Youngstown, Ohio, mother-n-law: Lucille Barner of Bridgeton, New Jersey, brother-in-law: Bradford Barner (Lorraine) of Millville, New Jersey, and sister-in-law: Rosetta Jones of Roanoke, Virginia. Ten grandchildren Lakesha Chatum, Willie Chatum, Joyce Engram (Barry), Anthony Chatum, Shamika Thomas, Shakieya Peterson, Raheem Chatum, Ashley Peterson, Jeremiah Fountain, and Losher’nae Powell, fifteen great-grandchildren, devoted nephew: Jamie Powell, special niece: Donna Browning, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.  

Thomas was predeceased by his lovely wife, of forty-one years, Rosa Mae Powell, sisters: Frances Powell, Tennie Robertson, and Doris Ann Berger, brothers: Walter Powell Sr., Samuel Powell, Jr., William Powell and Lawrence Powell, sister-n-law: Eddie Mae Downing, brother-in-laws: Jolly Robertson and Charles Barner, and grandchild: Willie Peterson, Jr.

Funeral services will be held at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 90 Matthew Brown Way, Bridgeton on Saturday, December 23rd at 11 AM. Interment will take place at Fernwood Memorial Park in Hopewell Twp. Friends will be received at the church from 9 AM to 11 AM prior to the services. Written condolences can be sent to the family through the funeral home website at