Johnnie Powell was the eldest son of the late Herbert and Lula Mae Powell. He was born in Lambert, Mississippi on March 23, 1951.
His parents moved to Chicago, Illinois during the 1950’s seeking a better life - and soon settled into a new housing development called the “Cabrini Green Projects”.
He attended Schiller Elementary School and later became an active student at the now famous Cooley High School. He served as a member of the Drama Club; Black History Month Chairman; and Vice-President of his Senior Class.
Johnnie was a good student, who first attended the University of Illinois. Two years later, he transferred to Northern Illinois University, where he earned a degree in Business Management and Finance in 1974. He then worked as an accountant at McDonald’s Corporate office in Chicago (Later in life, worked as a Youth Advocate and Juvenile Probate Officer throughout the Chicago metropolitan area).
After college graduation, Johnnie‘s mother unexpectedly died, and his father left the home soon after. Nevertheless, he stepped up, gave up his apartment, moved back into the Cabrini Green Projects and took care of his siblings until they were of age.
During the summer of 1986, his “birthday” came early when he met and fell in love with a Social Studies teacher working at Truman College – Louretta Cunningham, who he later nicknamed “Chocolate Cake”. They married on November 22, 1986, after sharing a whirlwind romance and love affair that lasted exactly thirty-three years, six months and one day. To this love affair was birthed three wonderful children: John Marcus II, Kenya Joi-Gustavia and Genesis Nia Georgia-Mae. Johnnie Powell loved his wife and children dearly - and in turn, we loved him to life.
Johnnie was a longtime Prison Minister for Van Buren County Jail, where he spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and worked diligently to reduce the recidivism rate of African American male inmates within the county jail.
On May 22, 2020; he listened to songs of praise, scriptures of comfort, the prayers of his wife and children and had holy communion with his family. He then shook off his earthly persona and surrendered to the will of the Almighty God.
This beloved man is survived by his loving wife - Louretta, children; John, Kenya and Genesis; three siblings, Yvonne Muldrow (Iowa), Eugene Powell and Diane Pointer (Illinois); his best friend, Phillip Snowden (Louisiana); special cousin Flo (Illinois) and a host of aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Proceeded in death by his parents, as well as, 4 brothers; James, Herbert, Dennis, Wayne and 1 sister; Evelyn.
Wake will be held from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Friday, May 29, 2020 at the Filbrandt Family Funeral Home in South Haven. Funeral services will follow the wake at 11:00 PM with Pastor Ralph Cunningham officiating. Johnnie will be laid to rest at Lakeview Cemetery in South Haven.
To send flowers to Johnnie's family, please visit our floral store.