Powell named ‘Father of the

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 13, 2000

Year’ by Pike Cattlewomen


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June 12, 2000 10 PM

The Pike County Cattlewomen called their Father of the Year a masterpiece.

Eddie Powell modestly shook his head, "Nah."

Powell had no idea when he was called away from the grill that he was about to have such an honor bestowed upon him. However, Betty Hixon, president of the Cattlewomen, gave it away early when she mentioned the recipient was a "tractor driving man."

"That’s when I thought it was me," Powell said, with a smile.

Powell’s wife, Tammy, and 16-year-old daughter, Heather, joined the applause as Powell’s name was called and as he graciously accepted the award.

"This is a surprise and a real honor," Powell said. "I didn’t expect anything like this but I hope I’m deserving. I’ve always tried to be a good father. I had a good example in my own father. He was an honest man who believed in God and raised us by the Bible. He wasn’t a real stern man but we knew when he meant business."

Powell said his dad led by example more than by taking off his belt.

"Oh, he would do that, too but I got more spankings by my mama than I did my daddy," he said, laughing.

Powell said he has tried to follow his dad’s example in both the way he handled his children and the way he handled himself.

"He worked hard and he was honest and fair and I’ve tried to be the same way," he said.

Powell grew up in Clayhatchee and married his high school sweetheart. The couple moved to north Alabama where Mrs. Powell worked with the Alabama Extension System and Powell worked at an air conditioning and refrigeration plant.

"The plant was always laying people off so I started working with a man who had a plumbing business," Powell said. "I caught on to it real fast and got some book training by attending a plumbing school. Then Tammy got an opportunity to come to Pike County where we were closer to our families. I decided to go into the plumbing business for myself."

Powell said he took the advice of a friend who told him if he would always do a good job at a fair price he would always have plenty of work.

"That’s what I’ve tried to do," he said.

Because his wife’s work takes her away from home at times, Powell said he has had an opportunity to spend "a good bit" of father-daughter time with his daughter and he treasures that time.

And, because he is his own boss, he can plan around that time.

"Heather and I used to ride four-wheelers and hunt together a lot," he said, adding that was before she got behind the wheel of the automobile. "I get to go to her school activities and ballgames and we just have time at home together."

Powell said that time together has meant he and Heather have formed a special bond – one he hopes will always be there.

"I try to set a good example for her and I don’t ask her not to do things that she sees me doing," he said. I don’t drink and I don’t smoke and I hope that influences her in a positive way."

Powell said he grew up in church and he and his wife believe in taking Heather to church, not sending her.

"Our church is very important to us and we support it as a family," he said. "Family is also very important. I’m the middle child of six and Tammy is an only child. Heather has gotten to experience both a large family and a small family but we’re all very close."

Powell said he wants his daughter to always know that she has someone on whom she can depend.

"That’s why family is so important," he said. "If you can’t depend on family who can you depend on?"

Powell’s hope for his daughter is a deep faith in God and strong family ties. His wish for her is a good education, a job she enjoys, a marriage "as good as mine and Tammy’s"

and a bond with her children as special as the one they share.