Clarence William Powell, affectionately known as “Sunny,” entered eternal life on Saturday, March 23, 2019. He taught us many valuable lessons during his 69 years. Among those lessons are the following:”
Chart your own destiny, nothing is written in stone, and don’t listen to the naysayers. Follow your own heart and passion in life. Never give up your dreams!
Spread kindness and love to those around you, even the ones that can be difficult to love because you never know what they have been through.
Live by the golden rule and don’t judge others, as your life will go down unexpected roads; give people the benefit of the doubt.
Life is much more enjoyable if you have a good sense of humor. Life can slap you down, but humor can pick you back up.
There’s more than one route to your final destination. Think outside of the box and open up your mind to new possibilities and perspectives.
“Stay strong,” was one of his constant admonitions!
We are so blessed to have known and experienced what was and always will be Sunny. One characteristic that set Sunny apart from the crowd was his infectious smile. Hence; the nickname “Sunny.” His smile spanned ear to ear. It brightened up the dreariest of days.
Sunny’s spirit is carried on by his wife Elizabeth Powell (Beth), his son, Brian Radford Powell, his daughter-in-law, Anna Patsel-Powell, and his beloved grandchildren, Paxton Kian Powell, age 7 and Adalyn Paige Powell, age 3. Also remaining are his sisters; Brenda Sue Powell, Linda Louise Winstead (William), and Phyllis Simmons Bogey-Johnson. An extended family of relations and friends from every walk of life will celebrate the liberation of his spirit. Sunny has once again reunited with his late mother, Mary Louise Powell, his father, George Powell, his oldest sister Shirley Ann Bogey Carnes-Villery, and his youngest sister, Rebecca Louise Linwood.
Sunny was born March 3, 1950 in San Bernardino, CA to Mary Louise Simmons-Powell and George Powell. He grew up in Fontana, CA, Cincinnati, OH, and Chicago, IL. Clarence attended Harlan High School on the South Side of Chicago. He obtained a pilot’s license at the age of 17, and flew shuttle and cargo routes in and out of O’Hare Airport. Without formal education beyond high school, he maintained a love of learning and was an avid seeker of knowledge. His intellectual capacity was incomprehensible to most. After several attempts to settle in cities he’d previously called home, he came to the nation’s capital where he settled and remained for the balance of his adult life.
In 1975 at a New Year’s party in Dupont Circle on P Street in Washington, DC, Sunny met Beth and they became good friends. The friendship blossomed into love over the next two years. In 1977 they married and the depth of their love made them inseparable for the next 42 years. Born to their 1977 union was one son, the incredible Brian Radford Powell, who entered their lives in October 1978. In 2011, he was blessed with his grandson Paxton, and in 2015 with his granddaughter Adalyn. He played a significant role in the nurture and care of both of his grandchildren. They were his pride and joy, the apples of his eye, and his reason for getting up in the morning.
Without a doubt, Sunny had a life full of love, joy, friendships, and family.
Sunny was an entrepreneur most of his life, and his interests spanned many different creative outlets. He and Beth shared a passion for social activism initiatives in Arlington County, VA where they spent most of their life together. They both held a strong belief in social justice for those without a voice and the most vulnerable or compromised populations in their community. They were major advocates for peace.