Thomas was born in Niceville, Florida, on April 17, 1926. He passed peacefully at home with his family by his side on November 17, 2022, at 96 years old. Preceding him in death was his mother and father, Ida Weeks Powell and Thomas Jefferson Powell Sr., his siblings Ruby Lee Powell, Gertrude Powell, Nolan Powell, James Powell, Jewel Sadler Smith, and William Powell (Bill). Also preceding him in death was his son and best friend, Thomas Anthony Powell (Tony).
Thomas is survived by the love of his life for 70 years, Margaret Louise Powell, his daughter Janet Powell Hughes, son-in-law Robert Hughes, daughter-in-law Anita Powell, grandchildren Brandy Thompson, Taylor Hughes and wife Cris, Andy Powell and wife Brittany, Kristen Williams and husband Steve, and Chase Hughes and wife Jen, his great-grandchildren, Amber Hart and husband Dylan, Noah Williams, Ava Williams, Maryn Hughes, Cricket Hughes, and Clara Hughes, and his great-great-grandchild Tony Hart.
He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, brother-in-law Bill Phillips, who meant so much to him, and Bill’s wife MaraJan, his caregivers, Peggy Antosh, Tammy Payne, Jeanie Watson, and many longtime friends.
In WWII, Thomas was in Patton’s 3rd Army. We were told many stories of his time in the war and how he earned a Bronze Star for his bravery. He left for the war before graduating high school but was allowed to graduate after returning. Driving the school bus allowed some extra cash in his pocket. Being an excellent athlete, he played football and basketball earning accolades and awards. After graduating, he went to FSU and received his associate degree.
Starting out as a door-to-door insurance salesman was tough work, but loving to socialize, as he did, allowed him success. In 1952, he and Margaret were married. They ran Pat’s Restaurant for a while before it was called Pat’s. Later, in 1968, he opened Powell Insurance Agency. Soon after, he got his real estate license and began purchasing property in Okaloosa, Walton, and Holmes counties. This led to his building houses, apartments, commercial buildings, and trailers. His rental business today is called Margaret Powell Rentals, named for his wife.
Thomas lived his life here in Niceville, enjoying boating, fishing, hunting, golfing, and all “Boggy” had to offer. He and his sister Jewel watched Bayshore Drive burn when they were youngsters on their way to what is now Edge Elementary. He was a part of this area’s history. Friendships were built, successful businesses flourished, and a family raised well made him proud. He loved everything about the area. Thomas was a member of the First Baptist Church and tithed religiously. We will miss his wit, unmatched sense of humor, and his storytelling. We will miss Tom Powell.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 22 at 10:00AM with funeral service beginning at 11:00AM, both at Heritage Gardens Funeral Home. Interment will follow the service.
Flowers or a donation made in Thomas Powell’s name to the charity of your choice is welcome.
The family would like to acknowledge Emerald Coast Hospice for their excellent care and professionalism.