Dr. Ollie Powe III peacefully made his transition on Tuesday, December 1st at his home surrounded by his wife and son. He was born February 28, 1951, in Mobile, the son of the late Ollie Powe, Jr. and Irma Olivette Stokes Powe.
Dr. Powe, a high achiever, served as president of the 1969 Class of Toulminville High School for three consecutive years. Following graduation, he attended Dillard University in New Orleans, LA along with his high school sweetheart, Barbara Highsmith, whom he married in 1971. After graduating in 1973, he attended Indiana University College of Optometry in Bloomington, Indiana. He graduated in 1977, then returned home to Mobile, Alabama to serve his own community as the first black optometrist to open a private practice in the state of Alabama.
He practiced for 40 years as an optometrist and was appointed to many positions and recognized with several awards. Dr. Powe served as president on the Alabama Board of Optometry (‘16-’17) and the National Optometric Association (‘17-’18). He was a member of American Regulatory Board of Optometry, American Optometric Association, and the National Optometric Association (NOA). He was an active board member of the NOA, and an inaugural scholarship was recently established in his name. He was the 2012 recipient of the NOA Founders Award and the outstanding service award (‘13-’18) by the Alabama Board of Optometry.
Dr. Powe served his local community his entire life. He was an ordained elder in the A.M.E. Zion Church and pastored faithfully for 14 years. During his time in ministry, he founded the former Trinity Full Gospel AME Zion Church and was twice awarded Pastor of the Year.
He was a devoted member of the Theta Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, past Basileus of the Rho Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, and a past member of the West Mobile Kiwanis.
An avid golfer, Dr. Powe earned many trophies. The most prized being the ones won during the Annual Powe Family Golf Classic. He enjoyed connecting with his classmates during the All Rattler Class Reunions and was honored as the LeFlore High School Rattler of Distinction, 2014.
Dr. Powe was preceded in death by his father, Ollie Powe, Jr.; mother, Irma Olivette Powe; one sister Janie Powe McCan, and one niece Bernadine Richards. He now leaves to cherish his memories his loving and devoted wife of over 49 years, Barbara Highsmith Powe; three devoted children, Marcia Westry of Mobile, AL, Brian Powe (Kimberly) of Washington, D.C., and Audrey Powe Harris (Eugene) of San Francisco, CA; three loving grandsons, Anthony, Brendan, and Cameron Westry; six great-grandchildren; one sibling, Mildred Simmons (Henry T) of Charleston, SC.; one brother-in-law, Michael Highsmith (Vivian), Tuscaloosa, AL; five nephews, two devoted, Nathan ‘Nate’ Roberts (Elissa) of Rockdale, TX., and Warren ‘Sonny’ McCan of Killeen, TX; Felix McCan, Jr. of San Antonio, TX., Sheldon and Leland Simmons of Charleston, SC; two nieces, one devoted, Sylvia Faye McCan of Mobile, AL and Mary Louise Patton (Dennis) of Killeen, TX.; a host grandnieces and grandnephews, cousins and many special friends.