Mrs. Lou Ann Anderson Powers passed away at her home on Friday, March 17, 2023. Mrs. Lou Ann was born on April 29, 1939, in Martin, Tennessee. Her parents were the late William Carmack and Ima Mae Adams Anderson.
Her family moved to Alabama for a year. However, the majority of her childhood was spent in Dresden. Lou Ann attended school in Dresden and graduated from Dresden High School in 1957. She attended the University of Tennessee at Martin where she earned her teaching degree in 1961.
She began her teaching career at Prairie Elementary School in East Prairie, Missouri. While teaching in this area, Mrs. Lou Ann discovered that many of her students came to school without adequate clothes and shoes and lived in homes with very little access to food and basic needs. With the help of local churches, she began providing food and clothes for the students in her classroom. This experience began her life-long service of caring for families in need.
Mrs. Lou Ann met Alvin Ray Powers at an East Prairie basketball game while he was home on leave from the U.S. Army. They married only a few months later on November 26, 1962, in Dresden, Tennessee. They made their home in Memphis, Tennessee for a short time. Later, Al and Lou Ann moved back to her hometown of Dresden. Lou Ann taught special needs students in Gleason, Tennessee, before joining the staff at Dresden Elementary. While at Dresden, Mrs. Powers taught hundreds of first grade children. She served as Assistant Principal and began the first after-school daycare program in Weakley County Schools. Mrs. Lou Ann retired in 2010, after having taught for 41 years.
Upon her retirement, Mrs. Powers established a thriving non-profit organization called Santa’s Helpers. Through grants, community donations, fundraisers, and many dedicated volunteers, Santa’s Helpers has provided Christmas gifts, Easter baskets, school supplies, food, clothes and home items for children and families in need for nearly a quarter of a century. Mrs. Powers has been recognized with numerous awards throughout the area for her tireless efforts in helping those in need.
Mrs. Powers was a lifelong member of Dresden First Baptist Church. Through the years, she taught the pre-K Sunday School class, assisted in the youth group, cared for babies and toddlers in the church nursery and was a member of the church choir. In the 1990s, Mrs. Powers and her husband began volunteering at Hillview Nursing Home. They enjoyed leading Sunday morning devotions and assisting in providing activities for the many residents.
Mrs. Powers loved to serve others. She could often be seen shopping for the needs of the community, packing goods and clothes at Santa’s Helpers, writing cards to those who may need to be cheered or delivering homemade treats to a sick friend. Her desire was always to share Jesus with those around her and love on those in need.
Mrs. Powers was preceded in death by her parents and her husband of 54 years, Alvin Powers. She is survived by her sons, Terry (Rubberta) Powers of Martin and Patrick (Jackie) Powers of Dresden, her four granddaughters Michele (Hunter) Harcrow of Dresden, Rachel (Zack) Jones and Rebecca Powers of Martin and Madison Powers of Dresden. She is survived by one great-grandson Walker Harcrow of Dresden. She is also survived by her brother David (Sharon) Anderson of Knoxville, Tennessee and her brother-in-law Jack Britt of Sikeston, Missouri.
Funeral services for Mrs. Powers were held at Bowlin Funeral Home on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. The family received friends in the Chapel of the funeral home from 10 a.m. until service time at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Dresden First Baptist Church and the Dresden Elementary Benevolence fund to benefit students in need or Santa’s Helpers.