In Memory


Larry Powell

 He Only Takes the Best

God saw that he was getting tired, a cure was not to be.

So He put His arms around him and whispered,

"Larry come home with me" 

With tearful eyes, we watched him suffer,

and saw him fade away.

Although we loved him dearly,

we could not make him stay.

A golden heart stopped beating,

Hardworking hands to rest.


Larry Arden Powell went home to be with the Lord at the age of 75 on Friday, February 19th, 2021, surrounded by his family after a brief but valiant fight against an aggressive cancer. Larry lived a daily life of service to others and contributed to many local organizations throughout his life. Most importantly, he was a dedicated and loving husband, father and grandfather and enjoyed spending time with and supporting his family. He is survived by his wife, Janey, and they would have celebrated their 50th Anniversary in May. He is also survived by two children, Lesli Whisenant (Todd) of Oviedo, FL and Scott Powell (Leigh Ann) of Atlanta area, GA, five grandchildren, Andrew, Kayla, & Matthew Whisenant and Hannah and Zach Powell, his sister Linda Farmer and brother John Powell. He is predeceased by his parents, Lloyd and Marybelle Powell. Larry was born on August 6, 1945 in Pueblo, Colorado where his father was stationed in the US Air Force. His family moved to Lakeland, FL in 1948 and he graduated from Lakeland High School in 1963. He attended the University of Florida where he lettered as a member of the cross-country team. He returned to Lakeland after graduating in 1967 to work for Polk County schools until he received his draft notice and joined the US Air Force in 1970. In 1975, he and his family moved to Winter Haven and have been there ever since. Larry was a devoted and caring man of faith who lived his Christian values daily. He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Lakeland while growing up and St. John’s United Methodist Church for the past 45 years. He served in various leadership positions including Lay Leader and Council Chairman. He loved many sports, especially playing and coaching softball as well as golfing. Helping others and serving his community was a way of life for Larry and he shared his heart and gifts throughout Polk County in his work and volunteer positions. He served as the Executive Director of the Citrus Center Boys Club for 9 years, the Director of Recreation Services and Volunteerism of Florida Southern College for 12 years, and the Alzheimer’s Association as the Senior Program Specialist for 7 years until he retired in 2010. However, he did not slow down in retirement and put much of his energy, time, and passion into fulfilling a need he and Janey felt called by God to address in the Eloise community. They co-founded Angels Care Center of Eloise, a free, faith-based medical clinic, in 2011 and Project Love of Eloise, a free, faith-based resource center to provide help with everyday living needs, in 2013. These local ministries have served thousands of patients and clients over the past decade and Larry built a network of medical professionals, volunteers and supporting churches and organizations that will continue his legacy through these ministries. In addition, Larry served as a board member or officer of many organizations including Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Better Living for Seniors of Polk County, Agency on Aging Advisory Council, Alzheimer’s Association, Polk Senior Games, Winter Haven Optimist Club, Winter Haven Senior Softball and Florida Half Century Softball Association, Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, Keep Winter Haven Clean and Beautiful, United Way of Central Florida Executive Directors Council, District Board of Finance and Trustees for the Florida United Methodist Conference, and United Methodist Men. As a result of his passionate and humble service to the community, Larry received a few notable awards including the Inaugural Golden Garland Award for Community Service in 2012, Salt & Pepper Award for Community Service & Philanthropy for the Agency on Aging in 2012, Polk Senior Games Nancye Thornberry Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2019, Induction into the Senior Softball Hall of Fame, and Life Membership in Optimist International. He and Janey were also featured as Everyday Heroes by Bay News 9. Larry’s caring and servant heart and sincere passion to help others and serve God was seen through his faith, family and daily living. He served people of all ages throughout his life but spent much of his time with young people and education. To honor Larry and continue his legacy, the Larry Powell Memorial Fund has been established in Project Love to provide funding for education and training to those in need, particularly in the Eloise area. In lieu of flowers, you can send tax deductible donations to Project Love with the memo notation of "Larry Powell Memorial Fund" at P.O. Box 2285, Eagle Lake, FL 33839. Larry’s amazing and inspirational life will be celebrated and remembered on Sunday, February 28, 2021 at St. John’s UMC, 1800 Cypress Gardens Blvd in Winter Haven. Visitation will begin at 12:00 in the sanctuary, then Celebration of Life service at 1:00, followed by a reception in the Christian Life Center. The service will also be streamed live at For the health and safety of all attendees, please wear a mask and practice social distancing guidelines. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Compassionate Care Hospice for their kind, exceptional care during his last illness. 2 Timothy 4:7 – He "fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith."

Click here to see Larry's last Profile entry.