William Stevens Powell, 95, died at Claire Bridge of Chapel Hill on Friday April 10th, 2015. He was the son of Isaac Millard Powell and Ada Belle Perry Powell. He was born in Johnston county April 28, 1919. He grew up in Statesville, NC. He was graduated from Mitchell Junior College in 1938 and in 2007 was awarded their inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award. He was graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1940. He served in the US Army during World War II 1941-1946. He received a M.A. in History and B.S.L.S. from the University of North Carolina in 1947. From 1947-1948 he was reference assistant in the Rare Book Room at Yale University Library. From 1948-1951 he was a researcher for the North Carolina Department of Archives and History. From 1949-1957 he was editor of History News. From 1951-1973 he was Librarian of the North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina. In 1956 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for research in England. From 1973-1986 he was professor of History at the University of North Carolina. In 1978 he received the Honorary Degree, Litt.D., from Campbell College. In 1981 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award, School of Library Science, University of North Carolina. From 1983-date he was a member of the North Carolina Historical Commission. In 1986 he received the Distinguish Service Award, Roanoke Island Historical Association. In 1987 he received the Honorary Degree, Litt.D., from Davidson College. In 2000 was awarded the North Carolina Award for Literature. He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2008.
He taught North Carolina history to over 6000 students at the University of North Carolina. He was the author or editor of over 100 books, pamphlets and articles concerning his beloved North Carolina and its history.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Virginia. He is also survived by his three children John (Tracey) Powell of Raleigh, NC, Charles (Janet) Powell of Concord, NC and Ellen (Stephen) Feild of Lynchburg, VA. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and one great grandson.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Claire Bridge of Chapel Hill for their special care of Bill over the past few years.
A private memorial service will be held at a later time. Memorial contributions may be sent to the William S. Powell Fund at North Caroliniana Society, c/o Wilson Library, Campus Box 3930, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-8890 or to Duke Homecare and Hospice at 4321 Medical Park Dr. #101, Durham, NC 27704 or to a charity of your choice.