Mavis Hollingsworth Powell

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Mavis Holllingsworth Powell, Orange, TX native, died peacefully at home in Dallas on August 12, 2017.

Born in Orange on October 3, 1921 to Pearl and Ernest Hollingsworth, she is preceded in death by her parents and her husband of 50 years, Joe M. Powell.

Mavis, affectionately known as “Mae-Mae”, is survived by daughters Janis Powell of New York City, Nancy and husband John Bartlett of Emory, TX and Holly and husband Christopher Wright of Los Angeles; grandchildren Shannon and husband Darbe Gosda of Houston, Ryan Wright of Mountain View, CA and Daniel Bartlett and wife Karen of Port Neches, TX; great-grandchildren Zach, Gabrielle and Marinn Gosda, and Mikaela Bartlett.

Mavis graduated with honors from Orange High School where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Tiger Scratches and four years on the Student Council and was President of the Heel and Toe Dance Club, Orange High Cheerleader and active member of the Drama Club.  Married in Orange at First United Methodist Church, she and her family moved to Monroe, LA in 1948 where they lived until returning to Orange in 1959.  In Monroe, she was active in leadership roles in numerous civic, charity, church, school and social organizations.  The Powells helped to found St. Paul’s Methodist Church and served as secretary and treasurer on various boards as charter members. She served on the Board of The Junior League of Monroe, chaired major events for The Monroe Garden Club and was a member of the Board for the PTA and other school organizations.

The Powells were members of The Bayou DeSiard Country Club and were avid bridge players. Upon return to Orange, as a member of The Historical Society of Orange, she helped to found and served as the first President of Heritage House Museum.  She was a member of the Board of The Service League of Orange and continued as Sustaining Advisor for many years.  She had the distinction of being named the first woman Board member of The Orange Yacht Club and the first woman on the Board of the Sunset Grove Country Club, where she established a popular club room designated for the general community of Orange teens.  She was an active Board member and contributor to The Orange Community Concert Association, The Town Club, the Orange Community Players and the YMCA Building Committee.  She served on the Administrative Board of First United Methodist Church, where she helped to found and served as first President of The Altar Guild, and was also a member of the Fidelis Sunday School Class and the Joy Group Circle. She moved to Dallas in 2000, where she was a member of Hyland Park Methodist Church, Junior League of Dallas Transfer Club, Dallas Opera Association and Les Fleures Des Jeunes Garden Club. She was celebrated by friends, family and perfect strangers for her culinary and hosting expertise, and in 2011, on her 90th birthday, she published her first cookbook: MONDAY THROUGH SUNDAY IN MAVIS’ KITCHEN: A Southern Cooking Lifestyle. The Powells traveled extensively in the U.S. and worldwide, throughout Europe and to Asia, Africa, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Visitation will be held at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange on Friday, August 18 from 5 – 6:30 PM.

Services to celebrate Mavis’ life will be Saturday, August 19 at 10:30 AM in Slade Memorial Chapel of First United Methodist Church in Orange, immediately followed by graveside services at Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Memorial contributions are welcome to be directed to the following in Orange:  Heritage House Foundation; the Orange Community Players; the Music Department or the Intercessory Prayer Committee at First United Methodist Church.