Edna Lee Powell



Ms. Edna Lee Powell, 68, departed this earthly life on Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

Edna Lee Powell was born on June 10, 1950, to proud parents Edward Lee Powell and Pattie Powell. She was born into a large and standard close-knit multi-generational family. Although she was born an only child, she had plenty of cousins who readily became her sisters and brothers.

Edna was a beautiful girl who never saw nor acknowledged this about herself. She was always a humble soul who never wanted to draw attention to herself. Even so, her beauty caught the eye of several business owners in Raleigh culminating in her becoming the first black woman in the history of Wake County to be hired in positions previously only held by Caucasians. To others this was an extraordinary accomplishment that never seemed to phase her. Edna was just a person needing a job, but she made history.

Never having children herself, Edna took great pleasure in wanting to see the delight in the eyes of the children of the family on Christmas, birthdays and other family gatherings. Always slipping in unexpected gifts hoping to add a bit more joy to the occasions.

Edna was someone you could always count on when anyone needed a little help. You never had to ask. She somehow would sense this and after one of her unexpected visits you probably would come across cash tucked away, but in a place where it would readily be found. She always avoided the possibility of embarrassment. Whether you needed a reference, help with a job application, a typing job, a ride to vote, transportation, groceries, gas in your car, or just words of encouragement, she was right there. Never rushing you nor seemingly pressed for time; always very supportive.

Edna loved the beach and enjoyed being there as often as possible. She also loved eating fish ... one of our favorite meals we often shared together over the years. There was nothing like sitting at the table relaxing and leisurely enjoying our sea food dinners as we reminisced of times gone by. That was always a special time for all of all of us. I smile as I picture her pouring the extra vinegar over her fish which always made her lips turn white. It was so funny to see her laughing and talking with white lips.

Edna was always stylish and well put together. She loved beautiful art, furnishings and décor. She was a very independent woman who worked hard and never complained of the labor nor the hours ... often working two or even three jobs to fulfill her desires or wishes. Multiple jobs became her positions throughout her life. I admire her so much for having the courage to travel alone to places like New York, Texas and other major states to find new jobs and make new homes for herself.

Knowing that the love of her life, Earl Dunston, who shared the majority of her life, was still right there with her to love, cherish, support and comfort her to the end, makes the pain of losing her much lighter for us. We, her family, will always be forever grateful for Earl's presence during her entire life, but especially until the very last moments of her life. Because of the love they had for each other, she was able to peacefully leave the arms of Earl and enter into God's. We will surely miss her; her tenacity, candor, energy, spirit, inter-beauty and grace.

There is now a bigger void in our lives. Losing a sibling is a different kind of loss. We will always love and miss you, Edna. You were always more sister than cousin.

A Graveside Funeral Service will be held on Monday, October 8, 2018 at 12:00 PM at Mount Hope Cemetery, 120 Prospect Avenue, Raleigh, NC.