Senior Gwinnett County Magistrate Judge Emily Pate Powell, age 64, passed into glory on Tuesday, December 31, 2019. Emily was born in Richmond, Virginia on September 30, 1955 to her father, Presbyterian Minister William Arnold Pate, and her mother, nurse Martha Powell Pate.
She is survived by her beloved husband, Anthony O.L. Powell, her adult but adoring children, Nathan Pate Powell, 33 (Karin Kathleen), Jessica Olivia Lucy Powell, 28, her two treasured grandchildren, Finley Kathleen Powell, 3, and Jonathan Anthony Powell, 7 months, her loving sister and brother, Martha Pate Teters (Edward) and John Edwin Pate, and her nieces and nephews, Elizabeth (Jeremy) Riddle, William (Kellie) Teters, Hannah (David) Morris, and John Edwin Pate, Jr.
Emily dedicated her life to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She spoke with authority, and she was never really wrong about anything, much to her children’s chagrin. Her stated goal, which she achieved with ease, was to be the type of woman of whom the devil would say each morning, “Oh no, she’s up.” She was a proud member of Christ Community Church Montreat in North Carolina, but she frequently attended 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville with her children and grandchildren. Emily attained a high degree of education and professional accomplishment.
She graduated from her father’s alma mater, Davidson College, in the first class that included female students. She and the other female pioneers from the class of 1977 are aptly called “the Wild Women of Davidson.” Emily obtained her juris doctorate from Mercer University. After practicing law for a short period of time, she was appointed to serve as a magistrate judge in Gwinnett County in which capacity she served for over 20 years. At the time of her death, she was the most senior active magistrate judge on the bench in Gwinnett County.
Emily acquired and exhibited excellent taste and artistic skill throughout her life. She was a multitalented creative: a painter, quilter and needlework artist, musician, writer and editor, educator, party planner, interior decorator, and gift-giver. She made everything she touched more beautiful. She gleefully corrected spelling, grammar, and pronunciation mistakes wherever found, with particular relish for those issuing from eminent and self-serious sources. Her portfolio of artwork is extensive and singularly beautiful, but so valuable that none of it is ever expected to appear on the art market.
Emily took great pride and satisfaction from the lives and accomplishments of her children, for which she rightly extracted thanks and gratitude from them. When one of her closest friends was asked how Emily raised her kids, that friend answered, “with an iron fist,” a response with which Emily heartily agreed and happily quoted. She loved her children and grandchildren fiercely and tenderly.
Emily’s excellent taste extended to her choice of husband, Tony Powell, who is a lawyer, a partner at the law firm of Powell & Edwards, a passionate Bible study teacher, renowned eulogist, and active member of the community. Emily loved to tell the story of how she, with help from her dear friends, lured him in while they were in law school together at Mercer. She fought for him and supported him throughout their life together. Their life together has now ended, but Emy will be loved and remembered fondly by all who knew her.
A Memorial Service to celebrate the Life of Emily Pate Powell will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at 4 PM, at the Buford Church of God with Reverend Doctor Davis Chappell officiating. The family will receive friends on Friday, January 17, from 5 to 8 PM, at Tom M. Wages Lawrenceville Chapel and on Saturday, January 18, from 2 to 4 PM, at the Buford Church of God.
There will be open visitation at the funeral home from 8 AM to 5 PM starting on Monday, January 6 through Friday, January 17.
Condolences may be sent to or viewed at www.wagesfuneralhome.com. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service LLC, “A Family Company” 120 Scenic Hwy., Lawrenceville, GA, 770-963-2411 has been entrusted with the arrangements.