William Pinkney Powers, III

William Pinkney Powers, III
Columbiana

William Pinkney Powers, III, of Columbiana, who died on Friday, Dec. 18, was a friend to all.

He was a beloved husband, father, friend, and attorney. Powers practiced law in Shelby County for over 40 years. He treated everyone equally and never turned down a client because of their inability to pay. Likewise, Powers helped several prominent attorneys and a judge establish their legal careers. He was a member of Columbiana First United Methodist Church. He taught Sunday School on Sunday for many years and demonstrated what he taught in his law practice through the week. He had an appetite for life, coffee, history, and never missed an opportunity for a good meal, a good book, or a good story — most of which ended with his infectious laugh.

Powers was a graduate of the University of Montevallo, where he served as SGA President, and the University of Alabama, where he was a member of Law Review.

Prior to his Shelby County practice, Powers was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1964 and soon after served the Circuit Court of Talladega County as the youngest elected judge in the United States. He contributed to the civil rights movement as the trial judge in the first cross-burning case in Alabama and worked courageously to remove corrupt public officials from office. During a three-year period, his life was constantly threatened, his home was fire-bombed twice in retaliation, and Governor George Wallace provided a security detail for him and his family. Powers did what he believed was right, even at great risk to himself and his family.

Powers loved his family and since his retirement enjoyed spending time with them.

He is survived by his devoted wife Deborah (Debby); three sons, David of Andover, New Hampshire, Larry of McKinney, Texas and Philip of Columbiana; two grandsons, P.J. and Nicholas; and four stepchildren, Emily Haslett of Vestavia, Bradley Haslett of Calera, Sarah Haslett of Hoover, and Jane Haslett of Hoover. He is also survived by several cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents, William Pinkney Powers, Jr. and Rubye Cain Powers, and a sister, Barbara Powers.

A celebration of Judge Powers’ life will be announced at a later date.