Jessie Powell

Jessie Brown Beard Powell peacefully entered the Kingdom of God in her beloved home, Travellers Repose, on Sunday, June 2, 2013. Born May 6, 1915, she was 98. Surrounded by family and friends, her life-long wish of living and dying in the home and room she was born in was fulfilled.

She is the daughter of the late Brown Buren Beard and Nellie Blanche Beard of Bartow.

The lessons of growing up on the family farm with a strong work ethic, a love of the mountains and the people who lived among them, carried her through a long and colorful life. Jessie attended a two-room schoolhouse in Bartow, Durbin Junior High School and was valedictorian of the 1932 class of Greenbank High School. She graduated from West Virginian Wesleyan in 1936 and taught at Marlinton High School for six years, where she met her future husband, William W. Powell, whom she married on Nov. 29, 1941. Raising a family and travelling the world as a military wife, she longed to return to her West Virginia and live on the farm where her roots were firmly planted. Upon Bill’s retirement from the U.S. Navy, Bartow became her home again. From 1962 to 1995, she owned and managed the Cass Country Store at the Cass Scenic Railroad. Known far and wide for her meticulous knowledge of local history and her love of Pocahontas County, her stories will be long remembered and she will be greatly missed.

Jessie Brown Beard Powell is survived by her three daughters, Susan Powell Leister and her husband, Dennis Earl Leister, of Rockville, Md., Jane Beard Powell and her husband, Ronald Kemnitzer, of Roanoke, Va., and Jessica Ann Brown Cheatham of West Palm Beach, Fla. She is survived by five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, all of whom she was most proud of and considered to be her greatest blessing.

The family is grateful to all who supported Jessie in her final years with visits, cards, prayers and love. Words cannot describe the overwhelming love, care and support of her daily caregivers, Susie Lambert, Amanda Moyers, Tamsyn Hall, Autumn Ryder, Savannah Lambert, Whitney Beverage and Pat and Ronnie Mallow. We will be forever grateful for your loving care and kindness.

The family will receive visitors from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Arbovale. The funeral service will be conducted there at 2 p.m. Saturday with the Rev. David Rittenhouse officiating. Interment will follow in Arbovale Cemetery.

Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg is in charge of arrangements. Please send online condolences by visiting