Cover photo for Wilson McRae Powell's Obituary
Wilson McRae Powell Profile Photo
1939 Wilson 2019

Wilson McRae Powell

November 28, 1939 — September 7, 2019

Wilson McRae Powell, 79, of the Hillville Community, passed away September 7, 2019, at his Haywood County home. Visitation will be Friday, September 13, at Brownsville Funeral Home, 107 S. Lafayette Ave., Brownsville, TN from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Funeral services will begin at 11:00 am, Saturday, September 14, at Whiteville United Methodist Church, 219 E. Main St., Whiteville, TN with visitation from 10:00 am until service time.   The Reverend Richard Pinkson and Bro. Neal Escue will officiate.   Burial will follow at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, 315 Mt. Pleasant Rd., Whiteville,TN.  Arrangements are by Lea & Simmons Funeral Group.

Wilson was born at the Powell family home on November 28, 1939, to Thomas Watkins Powell, Jr., and Enid Louise Wilson Powell.  He graduated from Haywood County High School in 1957, served in the US Air Force, and later received his BS degree from Memphis State University.

On December 29, 1979, he was united in marriage with Dorrie Lynn Johnson at the Whiteville United Methodist Church where he was a devoted member, organist, and chairman of the church trustees.

A man of many talents, he was a musician, educator, farmer, cattleman, and animal lover. From his high school years, he collected, refinished, and restored antique furniture and helped restore historic structures.  When his own home - a family structure that he had dismantled, relocated and reassembled next to his parents’ home – was destroyed by fire, he bought a sawmill, harvested trees from family farms, milled and dried the lumber, and built the large two-story home that he and his wife shared with their beloved dogs and often opened to family and friends.  

From early years of employment with the Boy Scouts of America until his death, he continued to mentor and nurture young members of his far-reaching community.  He provided apprenticeship opportunities to countless young people who developed a wide array of skills as they worked alongside him on the farm or in the shop. 

In addition to his parents, Wilson is preceded in death by his grandparents, Thomas Watkins Powell, Sr., and Mary Rives Powell; and Wesley Wilson, Jr., and Olive Purdue Wilson; aunts Minnie McRae Miller (and husband Roots Miller), June Wilson Hough (and husband the Reverend James Hough), Esther Wilson White (and husband the Reverend Paul White); uncle Dr. David Wilson (and wife Janet Webb Wilson); brother-in-law Rex Norville; cousins Ida Faye Hough Jenks and Dr. Dorcas Hough. 

Wilson is survived by his wife of 39 years Dorrie Powell, sisters Peggy Ann Norville, Mary Olive Dalglish, and Alice McClanahan (Edward); brother Thomas L. Powell; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and cousins. 

Serving as Pallbearers are Jerry Dalglish, Chris Finan, Danny Powell, Wade Thomas, Beau Warren and Danny Watson. Honorary Pallbearers are Casey Chandler, Dallas Elrod, Noah Elrod, Chase Finan, Gavin Finan, Hunter Finan and Chris Watson.

The family of Wilson Powell wishes to extend sincere thanks to the many fine doctors and health care professionals in Brownsville, Jackson, and Nashville for the exceptional care they provided, especially during the last few months of his life.. Memorials may be sent to Whiteville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 306, Whiteville, Tennessee 38075 or Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Trust, C/O Danny Watson, 1234 Hillville Loop, Whiteville, TN  38075.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilson McRae Powell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 13, 2019

5:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Starts at 11:00am (Central time)

Whiteville United Methodist Church

219 East Main St., Whiteville, TN 38075

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