Cover photo for Harold George Powell's Obituary
Harold George Powell Profile Photo
1924 Harold 2016

Harold George Powell

May 4, 1924 — June 24, 2016

Harold George Powell, 92, life-long resident of Norman, Oklahoma and founder of Harold’s Stores Inc., died at his home on June 24, 2016 of complications related to lung cancer. Born on May 4, 1924 in Edmond, Oklahoma at the home of his grandparents, Harold was preceded in death by his parents, Ruby K. (Dutchie) and Harvey Elton Powell of Norman, and his first wife, Elizabeth McIntire Powell, who was the mother of his children.

Harold served in the US Navy from 1943 until 1946 and was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Naval Reserve. He was graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Business and was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Harold and his brother Dee grew up on the Campus Corner working in their family business. Their father, who owned Sooner Drug on the Corner, died when Harold was 12, and his mother, Dutchie, continued to run the store after his death. During high school and college he worked at a local men’s clothing store and knew from an early age that he wanted to go into the clothing business. Both Harold and Dee ended up operating retail stores on the Campus Corner for over 50 years.

In 1948, one month after graduation from college, Harold opened the first Harold’s Men’s Apparel on the OU Campus Corner. He often joked that he had a friendly landlord since his mother owned the building where the original store was located. In 1958 he added a ladies’ operation to the original store, and over the years Harold’s grew into a local legend. Harold was known to be a true merchant and he believed in a philosophy of dress known as “Ivy League” clothing. He was given credit to have been the person who brought Ivy League clothing west of the Mississippi. The men and women on the OU campus were known to be some of the best-dressed college students in the country. Over the years, Harold became a mentor to hundreds of young men and women who followed in his footsteps and had successful careers in their chosen fields. He not only taught them about style and quality of clothing and the dialects of fashion, but he taught them to always run their businesses with the highest level of integrity. Harold Powell set this example in his life.

Harold’s Stores, Inc. became a public company in 1987 and at the time of Harold Powell’s retirement, the company had established 50 stores in 20 states.

Harold was a loyal OU alumnus and maintained a close association with the University of Oklahoma throughout his life. He received numerous awards and recognition over the years including: an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters; the OU Regents Award; the Arthur Barto Adams Fellow Award; was named Outstanding Alumnus by the Interfraternity Council; and was a founding member of the OU Presidents Associates. At the time of his death he served on the board of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

In addition to his business relationships and activities, Harold was always civic-minded and took an active involvement in numerous city and state organizations over the years. He previously served on the boards of the Norman Chamber of Commerce; Norman Rotary Club; the First National Bank of Norman; the Security National Bank of Norman; the Norman Savings and Loan Association; and Saxon Publishing Co. He was a founding member of the Norman Economic and Development Coalition and served on the Vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church. He was appointed to the Oklahoma Consumer Credit Commission by Gov. David Walters, and to an Oklahoma Economic Development Committee by Governor Frank Keating.

Harold is survived by his wife of 35 years, Ann Cullen Powell, his three children, Rebecca Powell Casey and husband Michael, of Dallas; H. Rainey Powell and wife Mary, of Norman; Lisa Powell Hunt and husband Clay, of Dallas; his stepsons, Richard Cullen Greer and wife Susan, Gerald Keith Greer and wife Lauren, and John Michael Greer and wife Robin, all of Houston; 15 grandchildren: Lindsey Casey, Meredith Casey Jarrett and husband Ted, Bryan Casey, Miles Hunt, Patrick Hunt, Hayden Hunt, Libby Powell, Alex Powell, Charlee Greer Johnson and husband Michael, Jerry Greer, Cullen Greer and wife Colleen, Courtney Greer Green and husband Andrew, Kyle Greer, Chris Greer, Lauren Boe Stanley and husband Brad; and 3 great-grandchildren, Georgie Jarrett, Anna Johnson and Craig Cullen Johnson. He is also survived by his brother, Dwayne E. (Dee) Powell of Norman, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family has requested that any remembrances be made to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, the University of Oklahoma Foundation, or to the charity of one’s choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harold George Powell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. John's Episcopal Church

235 West Duffy Street, Norman, OK 73069

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