Alfred Jackson “Jay” Powell, Jr.

Published 10:03 am Friday, November 29, 2019

State Representative Alfred Jackson “Jay” Powell, Jr., 67, of Camilla, Ga., passed away on Tuesday, November 26, 2019, in Young Harris, Ga. Throughout his life, Jay used the gifts of a brilliant intellect and a benevolent spirit to better his community and inspire others. His affable, self-effacing nature combined with his razor-sharp wit earned the respect of friends and colleagues. He cherished his family and was a devoted son, brother, husband and father.

Born November 18, 1952, in Quitman, Jay graduated from Brooks County High School and went on to attend Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fl. where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He later earned his law degree from the University of Georgia.

A member of the State Bar of Georgia, he practiced law with long term business partner, Bill Erwin, of Powell & Erwin, P.C. in Camilla. He previously served as a judge for the Municipal Court of Camilla and as past president of the Mitchell County Bar Association. He was also a member of the Mitchell County Law Library Board of Trustees and the Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education Board of Trustees.

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An active member of his community, Jay held various executive roles with the Camilla Chamber of Commerce, won Citizen of the Year in 2001 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, and was a faithful member of the Camilla Rotary Club. He also served on the City of Camilla Development Authority, the South Georgia Governmental Services Authority, the Georgia Municipal Association and the Mitchell County Board of Health.

Jay had a long and distinguished career as a public servant. He served as Mayor of Camilla from 1996 until 2007. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2008, where he served until his passing. Powell represented House District 171, which includes Mitchell County and portions of Colquitt and Decatur counties.

As Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Jay oversaw the flow of legislation and determined what bills should be debated and voted on the House floor. He previously served as Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, which oversees tax policy. Throughout his tenure in the House, Jay championed sound fiscal policy, independence of local governments and economic opportunity in rural Georgia having co-chaired the first Rural Development Council.

Jay is survived by his wife, Deidra Powell of Valdosta & Camilla; three daughters and two sons in law, Jessica Powell, of Camilla, Erica & Cole Grier of Thomasville, and Elizabeth & Parker Albright of Marietta, step son, Nicholas White and Isabella White, both of Valdosta; one grandson, John Parker Albright of Marietta. Also surviving are two sisters and a brother in law, Beth Slocum of Cordele, and Lisa & Tim McEachern of Birmingham, AL, and numerous family members who will greatly miss Jay. He was preceded in death by his parents A.J. & Mary Powell and brother in law, Jody Slocum.

The funeral for Jay will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday at First Baptist Church of Camilla. Rev. Jimmy Stewart will officiate. A private family committal will follow at Dixie Baptist Church Cemetery, in Dixie, Ga. The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 p.m. on Saturday in Valdosta at Carson McLane Funeral Home. They will also receive friends from 12:30 until service time on Sunday in Camilla at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Condolences may be conveyed to the family on the obituary page of Carson McLane Funeral Home.