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William Norris "Billy" Powell

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POWELL In the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 28, Tuesday had gone with the wind, and with it took legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd pianist William "Billy" Norris Powell. Powell was 56. Born on June 3, 1952, the world will remember Powell as the larger than life Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame inducted musician, who mesmerized fans worldwide, spanning four decades with his incendiary skills that were highly revered. But his family will remember him as the loving husband, father, brother, and friend that he was. Although music was his true love, his family was his soul. This family man had a truly good heart and would never turn down a request for help in any fashion. His true joy was making people happy, especially his family. In his off time from the road, he treasured fishing trips with long time friend Timmy Lindsey. He also cherished using his green thumb to make the world a more beautiful place. Upon his passing he left behind his wife Ellen Easter Powell, the woman you could always find by his side, both on tour and at home. She truly was his guiding star. He adored her in every sense possible and looked at her with the same loving amazement throughout their 22 years of marriage. As a father he was wonderful. With his sons, Richard Brandon Powell and William Joel Powell, he often communicated thru humor. They would spend hours laughing at his puns, quips, and contortions of names and phrases. His daughters, Layla Michelle Kinder, Ashley Rose, and Maggie Jean Harwood, were definitely daddy's girls. He had a soft spot for his little princesses and there is nothing he wouldn't do for them. He also leaves behind the men and women whom he has enjoyed playing, traveling, and living on the road with for the past few decades, his dear band family: Gary and Dale Rossington, Johnny Van Zant, Ean Evans, Rickey Medlocke, Michael Cartellone, Mark "Sparky" Matejka, Carol Chase, and keyboard tech Steve "Boxcar" Traun. He is also survived by his brother, Richard "Ricky" Scott Powell, and sister Donna Lorraine Powell. Ricky was honored to play bass alongside his brother Billy on the Alias album "Contraband." Donna encouraged her brother's musical abilities from a very early age. He also had two grandsons, Cole and Ross Kinder, whom he held dear to his heart and could always put a smile on his face. He also leaves behind his beloved niece, Elizabeth "Liz" Ann Davis, who affectionately referred to him as her "other daddy." For someone who lived such a full, exciting, amazing life, one could safely assume Billy accomplished nearly everything that any of us can. It comforts the ones closest to him to know he is now in Heaven with no pain, only pure bliss. He has been reunited with his father, Donald Norris Powell, and mother, Virginia Marie Powell, as well as his rock n' roll brothers who have gone on before. It brings peace to his family knowing he is now in Heaven with his band brothers Leon Wilkeson, Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Hughie Thomasson. Though nothing will ever be able to fill the void of this tremendous loss, Billy will live on forever in the hearts of all who love him. And if you listen close enough, you can almost hear him tickling the ivories from Heaven. Please join us in celebrating Billy's life at www.mem.com . Arrangements by HARDAGE-GIDDENS RIVERMEAD FUNERAL HOME, 950 Park Ave, Orange Park, FL Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com
Published in the Florida Times-Union on Feb. 1, 2009
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