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Archie James Powell

June 1, 1950 ~ January 30, 2018 (age 67)
Archie James Powell was born on June 1, 1950 in Lakeland, Florida, the oldest of three children to Audrey Daniels Powell and Archie L. Powell. Throughout his life, he was a scholar, musical artist, influential leader, historian, and beloved son, father and brother. He was affectionately known as "Jimmy" to family and friends.

During his educational journey, he excelled in his studies earning high honors and academic scholarships. He was a graduate of St. Paul of the Cross Catholic School (1964), Charles Lincoln Harper High School (1968), Morehouse College (1972) and Brown University (1974 and 1976). He was awarded the Merrill Oversees Travel Study Grant during his sophomore year at Morehouse College for a year of study and European travel resulting in matriculation at the University of Nantes (France). While studying at the University of Nantes, he became licensed to teach the French language and traveled to Switzerland, England, France, Italy, Holland, and Germany. Additionally, he was awarded a Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, which funded his advanced studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

His extensive leadership experiences included attaining the rank of Eagle Scout at age 16, serving as class president and working with the Dean of Students at Morehouse College during his senior year, representing Brown University students on the Graduate Student Council and on the Brown Corporation (University Board of Trustees).

Archie married Deborah Bell in December 1976 and to that union, a son, Kevin James Powell, was born. Kevin was the "apple of his eye" and predeceased him on May 6, 2007.

Over the course of his professional life, he was employed as the Director of Minority Affairs at Brown University (RI), Associate Dean of Students for Minority Affairs at Albany Medical College (NY), Associate Director of Admissions at Boston University (MA), the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census (MA) and as an adjunct professor of African American history at several colleges and universities.

Dr. Powell was a gifted musician and a child prodigy, who began piano lessons at age 4, and participated in and won competitive musical events throughout his childhood. He began playing professionally as a church musician at age 14 in Atlanta's Union Baptist Church. One of the joys of his life was mastering the historic pipe organ at Nantes Cathedral in France. He later taught piano, organ and vocal music lessons to numerous young people in the greater Boston area. Further, he had a melodic tenor voice and loved to sing. He performed nationally and internationally with the renowned Morehouse College Glee Club and directed the Boston Orchestra and Chorale Choir.

Archie used his musical talents to add joy, lift spirits and bring comfort to many in his various roles as part of the musical ministries at Union Baptist Church (Atlanta). Trinity United Methodist Church and Olney Street Baptist Church (Providence), Israel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church (Albany), Ebenezer Baptist Church, Concord Baptist Church, Grant AME Church (Boston) and the Historic Charles Street AME Church (Dorchester).

He was a faithful community servant with past membership in the American Guild of Organists, The Prince Hall Masons (Albany) and his beloved Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. He served on the Boards of the YMCA, Camp Opportunities, Northeast Association of the Blind, Albany Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Rhode Island Lung Association. His steadfast service was acknowledged by the receipt of numerous awards.

Brother Archie was inducted into the Pi Beta Sigma alumni chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. in 1975 during his doctoral studies at Brown University. He was a life member of the fraternity and served as the International Director of Education. He also served as Regional Secretary and later, 15th Eastern Regional Director providing leadership to chapters from Maine to West Virginia and the United States Virgin Islands. He was most proud of being inducted into the Distinguished Service Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma, Inc. in 2013. He was the 172nd member to achieve this highest honor in this 104-year-old organization of college and professional men.

He loved to cook almost as much as he enjoyed eating Southern soul food. He played a mean game of bid whist and had a robust sense of humor. His hearty laughter and wide grin will be deeply missed.

Archie leaves to cherish his memory two sisters, Andrea Sparrow (Glenn) and Angela DeGraff (Jules), one nephew, Michael Spence, a half-sister Blanche Lavender (Simmie) and Godmother, Maurice Mitchell Williams. He was predeceased by his son, Kevin James Powell, his mother Audrey Daniels Powell, his father, Archie L. Powell, grandmothers Agnes Harrell and Blanche Curry Daniels and second wife, Shirley Bryant. Brother Archie also leaves the brothers of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, Inc. and a host of former classmates, colleagues and friends.


FEB 6. 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Charles Street A.M.E Church

551 Warren Street

Boston, MA, US, 02121


FEB 6. 12:00 PM

Charles Street A.M.E Church

551 Warren Street

Boston, MA, US, 02121





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