Shirley John Powell, 82, of Benton Harbor departed this life on Monday, July 20, 2020, at his home.

A private service will be held. Those wishing to sign the guest book online may do so at

Shirley was born on Feb. 28, 1938, in Hayti, Mo., to the union of the late Jim and Ada Powell. He was the 11th of 11 children. Shirley moved to Benton Harbor in the late 1950s, where he was employed as a carpenter and laborer for many years until he retired. He attended Reed Temple and Flake Temple of Benton Harbor and Restoration in Christ Church of Georgia, where he was a faithful member until his passing. John was well known throughout Benton Harbor as Big John and by the billiards community as an exceptional pool player. He also enjoyed fishing, traveling, landscaping and listening to rhythm and blues, but most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

John leaves behind to celebrate his life and cherish his memories: his wife, Estella Powell; his seven children: Billy (Deborah) Campbell, Lisa (Timothy) Moore, Charlene (Douglas) Bowens, Durand (Maria) Powell, Sheryl (Robert) Penn, Patrice Allen and John Powell Jr.; 25 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Ada Powell; eight brothers: Hurtis, Clarence, Jimmy D., Edgar, Herbert, Curtis, Albert and Ezope; two sisters, Dorothy Smith and Deloris Douglas; and two grandchildren, L.A. Demond Morris and Keyosha Elizabeth Scales.