Former Probate Judge Ronnie Powell dies

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Former Pike County Probate Judge Ronnie Powell died Saturday after a lengthy illness, leaving heavy hearts but fond memories for family and friends.

“It’s sad and we are going to miss him but now he’s up walking and doing all the things that he wants to do,” Jim Powell said of his dad. “Dad was a people person. He loved people and he loved his native Pike County. He was happiest when he was around people.”

Powell also enjoyed politics. He first tossed his hat in the political arena in the Pike County Commission District 1 race, was elected and served one term. He then worked for Anderson Tractor Company from 1967 to 1982. At the tractor company, Powell was an “ace” John Deere tractor salesman.

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Powell was elected Pike County Probate Judge in 1983 and served a six-year term and chose not to run for re-election.

“Ronnie served as probate judge at the same time I was serving as county commissioner,” said Ronnie Morgan. “It was during his term that the big change came about, from four districts to six districts. That was a bothersome time and it was hard on him and on all of us but he did a good job of leading us through. Ronnie was a good probate judge, a good leader and a good man.”

Morgan said he and Powell attended Charles Henderson High School together.

“Ronnie introduced me to his first cousin and I married her,” Morgan said, adding that was one of the many good things Powell did in his life.

Morgan said Powell always treated people right.

“When he sold tractors he knew all the farmers in the area and they thought of him as a good upright person,” Morgan said.

“He was a happy talker. He was friendly to everybody and everybody like him. Ronnie was a good man. I will miss him. We all are going to miss him.”

Former Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said he didn’t know Powell as a political figure, only from the point of view as a citizen.

“Ronnie Powell was a progressive probate judge,” Lunsford said. “My father was close to him and our family always supported him. Ronnie was well liked throughout the county. He was fair and a fine gentleman.”

Lunsford said while he served as mayor, Powell called him from time to time, not to complain, but to talk about things that were going on in the city and county.

“Ronnie was quick to call and express appreciation for things that we were doing in city government,” Lunsford said. “He was just that kind of fellow. Troy and Pike County have lost a devoted friend.”

Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen said he was saddened to hear of the news of Powell death.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the Powell family,” he said. “Judge Powell was always very kind and sincere and always had encouraging words. We will miss Judge Powell.”

Powell’s children, Jim, Trey, Shannon and Shaun, remember him as an outdoorsman, not a hunter, but a lover of the outdoors.

They said their dad was happy feeding the deer or watching the birds and hearing their songs. He loved the changing of the seasons and always welcomed them with an open heart. His children will miss their dad dearly in this season of change in their lives.