The first day of April has always been a fun and happy day known as “April Fool’s Day”, a day full of pranks. However, on April 1, 1935, in the Aurelian Springs Community of Halifax County, North Carolina, it was no “joking” time for Cleveland Boyd and Elizabeth Kelly Boyd, who became the proud parents of a beautiful bouncing baby girl they named Lillian Moore Boyd. Can you imagine the happy announcement made on that special day and the many responses being, “You are joking”!
The joy and happiness were so apparent in Lillian as she grew day by day. Of course, her parents instilled in her the importance of learning and living as a beautiful Christian. At an early age, Lillian was baptized and became a steadfast member of the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Littleton, North Carolina. Her grandmother, Frances Boyd, played a major role in Lillian’s life after her mother relocated to New York. “Granny” became “Mother”, and she saw to it that Lillian’s daily life, Christian life, and her education never lost momentum. As a result, Lillian continued to grow and flourish. She was educated in the Halifax County Public School System and successfully graduated from the former McIver High School in Littleton, North Carolina, with the skills and knowledge that would provide her livelihood and bring her great joy.
Lillian was such a skilled, talented, smart and pretty young lady. No wonder she won the heart of Calvin Powell, better known as “Cootie”. Now, do not think that this was a “slam dunk” case of love and marriage. It was not. “Cootie” considered himself a “player” and a “real ladies’ man”, but, dear Lillian became the “play changer”. She had to take time to help her suiter understand the seriousness of love. She became a real challenge for him. Then, their courtship went through another test that separated them. “Cootie” joined the United States Army. During his military service, they wrote to one another and their love really blossomed. After “Cootie” received his honorary discharge, they were joined in Holy Matrimony on September 28, 1952. Their vows “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live” guided their lives. To this blessed union, Belinda Gail, Clintona Zoran, and Calvin Clay, Jr. were born. My, what a happy and joyous family they had for fifty-three years together, and not just with their three children, but anyone else who needed or wanted to come into their home. This blessed home remained open to all even after “Cootie’s” death. Lillian was always talking about welcoming her “adopted” sons and daughters. She enjoyed cooking and had plenty of food for all. As the family puts it, “all are welcome through the revolving doors”.
Lillian worked side-by-side with her husband in the trucking business. She was the dispatcher, the bookkeeper, and also served in any other capacity needed. Her actual profession was tailoring and dress making, and she became quite accomplished in her field. She tailored ladies’, men’s, and children’s clothing, and her children were so fortunate to have tailored clothing made just for them by their loving mother. When Lillian’s health began to challenge her, she did not sit idly by. She spent hours and days making beautiful aprons by hand and would give them away, or just keep them on-hand for some special occasion.
Does it mean that an “April 1st Baby” will always exemplify the spirit that the special and fun-filled day mandates? Well, Lillian proved it true. There is so much that could be said about this beautiful, jovial and Christian lady. One important fact is that she not only worshipped at her own church, but also visited other churches, especially the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Littleton, North Carolina, which was her husband’s church of membership. She was first a beautiful daughter, then a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, cousin and friend who was like a mother to many. She was a Wonderful person. However, we shall leave it with you to remember and enjoy your happy memories of Lillian Moore Boyd Powell, who was called from labor to reward on Monday, June 8, 2015, at her home in the arms of her loving son, Clay, and surrounded by her devoted family.
Keeping warm, joy-filled and precious memories of Lillian’s life and love are her two daughters, Belinda Powell Manley (Ivory) of Rocky Mount, NC, Clintona P. Joyner (Floyd) of Littleton, NC, and her son, Calvin Clay Powell, Jr. (Valerie) of Roanoke Rapids, NC; two granddaughters, Corlindius and Asiah; three grandsons, Cornelius, Tyler, and Calvin III; three great-grandchildren, Laylani, Calvin IV, and Monroe; a devoted caregiver, Ben Clyde Boyd of the home; and many, many other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Sunday, June 14, 2015, at the Mount Olive Baptist Church, Rock House Road, Littleton, NC. Rev. Jimmie Lowe, will deliver the eulogy, and burial will follow in the Powell Family Cemetery in Littleton. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday, June 13, 2015, from 6:00-8:00 P.M.