Dr. Annabelle C. PowellNovember 23, 1953 ~ April 20, 2017 (age 63)
Dr. Annabelle C. Powell of Burlington passed away on April 20, 2017 after a short illness. Beth, as she was known to family and friends, was born November 23, 1953 in Elon, NC to Annabelle Council Powell and Dr. Thomas E. Powell Jr. She attended Williams High School in Burlington, NC and studied biology at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. She then attended Oxford University in Oxford, England where she received a doctorate in paleontology in 1980. She worked as an assistant curator at the National History Museum in Basel, Switzerland, and taught geology at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey, before turning to North Carolina in 1982 to found Omni Resources. Beth and Russell Guy worked together to establish Omni Resources as a leading international map supplier to customers around the world. In recent years, Beth converted Powell Manor into a wedding venue and events center.
Beth visited over 65 countries in her lifetime, often buying maps or fossils for her business. Her love of travel took her from Machu Picchu to the Galapagos Islands, horseback-riding in Costa Rica to climbing volcanoes in Japan, and buying maps in Syria and China. Beth developed a working knowledge of five languages, to better immerse herself in the communities she visited on her travels - and yet she always remained invested in her own local community, as well. Beth served on the boards of the Duke Lemur Center, the Greensboro Science Center, and the North Carolina World Trade Association.
Beth served as a member of Elon University’s Love School of Business Board of Advisors from 1987 -2010, serving as chairperson from 1990-2003.
A longtime member of the Rotary Club of Alamance, Beth was the 2009-2010 Club President, a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and Rotary Foundation Benefactor. Beth was instrumental in organizing Rotary dental and medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic. Her international travels inspired her to found the Burlington-Alamance Sister Cities chapter of Sister Cities International. Her efforts to secure a Rotary International grant resulted in the delivery of two fire trucks to Burlington’s sister city, Soledad, Mexico.
Friends were often surprised to discover that beneath her soft-spoken demeanor, Beth was an independent and determined woman. She pushed herself beyond her comfort zone, becoming an active motorcyclist, scuba diver, licensed pilot and black-diamond skier. She was an excellent cook, cooking for friends, family and pets, enjoyed playing ragtime piano, painting, and spending time with her beloved dogs. Beth treated everyone she met with an unfailing kindness and generosity, and she will be deeply missed.
Beth is survived by Russell Guy, her business partner of 35 years at Omni Resources, her husband from 1986 to 1995, and her close companion for the past 15 years. Beth is also survived by five brothers, Thomas Edward Powell, III, M.D., James Bobbitt Powell, M.D., John Sharpe Powell, Esquire, William Council Powell, and Samuel Christopher Powell, PhD. She was preceded in death by her sister, Sophia Powell Wolfe and her brother, Joseph Eugene Powell.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that memorial donations be made in Beth’s name to The Rotary Foundation, c/o Rotary District 7690, 114 Willoughby Park, High Point, NC 27265, or Burlington-Alamance Sister Cities, PO Box 1603, Burlington, NC 27216.
An informal celebration of life will be held June 2, 3 pm, at Powell Manor, 2400 York Rd, Burlington.