Emily Powell, a Gwinnett County senior magistrate judge who spent more than two decades on the bench, died after getting struck by a car last month in Buford.

Memorial services set for Gwinnett judge killed in pedestrian crash

Memorial services have been set for Emily Powell, the beloved Gwinnett County judge who died last week after being hit by a vehicle while crossing a Buford street

Powell, 64, was one of Gwinnett’s original magistrate judges and sat on the bench for more than two decades. She is survived by her husband, attorney and former Lawrenceville city councilman Tony Powell; her two children; and two grandchildren. 

An open visitation period will begin Monday at Tom M. Wages Lawrenceville Chapel, located at 120 Scenic Highway. Visitation will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day through Friday, Jan. 17. 

The family will also receive visitors at the funeral home from 5 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 17. 

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18, at Buford Church of God, located at 4800 S. Lee St. in Buford. The family will receive visitors beforehand from 2 to 4 p.m.



Powell died New Year’s Eve, some 11 days after being hit by a truck while walking to meet friends for dinner in downtown Buford. Gwinnett County police believe she was crossing W. Moreno Street at S. Lee Street when a woman driving an F-150 hit her while making a turn. 

The crash is still under investigation and the driver, who police say left the scene without calling 911, has not been charged.

Police have asked anyone who witnessed the crash or was present for its aftermath to call detectives at 770-513-5300 with information. 

Powell grew up a minister’s daughter in Richmond, Virginia, and was a member of the first Davidson College class to include female students. She moved to Georgia to attend law school at Mercer University, where she met her future husband.

The Georgia state legislature created magistrate courts in 1983 and Powell was appointed as one of Gwinnett’s original judges. She sat on the bench for more than 20 years before retiring to raise her two children, Jessie and Nathan — but then re-joined the court as a senior judge. 

Kristina Hammer Blum, Gwinnett County’s chief magistrate, called Powell the court’s “godmother.” 

Powell was also a devout Christian and a talented knitter, quilter and needlework artist. 

“She made everything she touched more beautiful,” her obituary reads. 

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