Walter Connally Powell, Jr., (Walt)

  • Born: December 26, 1979
  • Died: June 4, 2013
  • Location: Austin, Texas

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
Tel. (512) 452-8811

Tribute & Message From The Family

Walter Connally Powell, Jr. (Walt), 33, widely known and admired in both the hospitality industry and craft beer community, died unexpectedly of natural causes Tuesday, June 4, 2013 in Austin, Texas. He was born on December 26, 1979 in Tyler, Texas, the only child of Walter Connally Powell and Bolivia C. Powell. At the time of death Walt was Vice President of Operations, Flix Entertainment Group, where he co-developed and operated the Flix Brewhouse and HomeField Grill concepts in Round Rock, Texas.

In addition to both parents, Walt is survived by special friend Heather L. Klein, and a host of other family members as well as many friends. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Delbert L. Powell, Martha Ann Connally Cassel and Joe B. Cassel, and B.L. and Lottie Belle Collins.

Growing up in Tyler, this future beer eminence served Christ Episcopal Church as a devoted member of the youth choir and appeared as a child actor in local civic theater productions. As a youngster, Walt was a skilled Ventriloquist and Magician. At age 11, while a student at All Saints Episcopal School, Walt attended Space Camp junior astronaut training at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville Alabama, where he won the award for most outstanding cadet.

Active in sports, Walt was a fearless black diamond skier on the slopes of Crested Butte, Colorado and a skilled marksman. A lifelong animal lover, his shooting targets were mostly on paper. He also was an avid fly fisherman, tying his own flies. In 1988 Walt was a Page to Queen Lora Beth Clyde in the Texas Rose Festival. Later, he also was an Escort in the Rose Festival. Walt was active in showing dogs in Conformation and Junior Showmanship.

Precocious in business even in high school, he was promoted to general manager of a $1 million sales volume Domino's Pizza at age 18. Walt graduated from Bending Oaks High School in Dallas and attended North Texas State University. He was interested in continuing his higher education in the field of Music, but the restaurant bug had bit, and Walt elected to pursue a career in the hospitality industry.

He held a number of positions of increasing responsibility, including area training manager for 60 Papa John's stores in the DFW metroplex and assistant general manager of a Flying Saucer, where his craft beer hobby began. Walt joined Main Event family entertainment centers, and while in his 20's was promoted to general manager of their flagship location in northwest Austin, responsible for some 200 employees.

After helming two other large family entertainment center concepts, Incredible Pizza in Euless, Texas, and Brunswick Zone xL in Algonquin, Illinois, Walt returned to Texas in early 2010 to take the reins of two development stage concepts. He was the opening general manager for HomeField Grill, bringing not just a popular sports restaurant but a bit of haute cuisine and beer appreciation to the Round Rock community. As co-founder of Flix Brewhouse, which existed only as a vague idea when Walt took charge, he brought to life the only first-run cinema microbrewery in the world and made it an over-the-top success. Creative and innovative, Walt conceived of Firkin Fest, which brought together a dozen craft breweries from across Texas for an amazing day of great beer and great fellowship. At the time of death Walt was deeply involved in planning the national roll-out of several additional Flix Brewhouse locations, and his DNA will surely live forever in the fabric of all Flix theaters.

Walt was a founder and administrator for Rate Beer, an internet community of lovers and critics of fine beer. He was a fixture for years until his death at beer festivals and events across the country, and was an active member of numerous craft beer social and trade groups. His passion for beer was greatest for sweet, malty Belgian brews. Walt's idea of a superb trip to Europe was visiting Trappist monasteries in Belgium, and using his fluency in French to learn the secrets of their ancient brewing techniques.

Mentor, confidante and quipster, Walt delighted in bringing people together and making good times flow. He loved beer, music and laughs. He was one of a kind — an iconoclast who loved knowing others were happy. His sense of humor was epic, wise and frequently self-inflicted. If the ability to make — and take — a joke is a sign of intelligence, Walt had an IQ right up there with Einstein. If Walt pranked you, you were lucky. But when matters were serious, Walt always thought issues through, and had the courage to go toe-to-toe with anyone in the marketplace of ideas.

Walt delighted in shock and surprise but no one was more reliable. His generosity and ability to connect deeply with those around him was legendary. He wasn't a big man physically, but he had a giant heart, and everyone he touched knew they had met someone special.

Beer savant extraordinaire, hospitality executive, musician and music lover, amateur chef and serious foodie, world traveler, writer, debater, marksman, athlete, an intellectually curious and creative thinker, multi-lingual raconteur, practical joker of the first order, a lover of people, animals and life, Walt Powell, the eternal optimist, was a Renaissance Man for the new millennium.

Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at Christ Episcopal Church in Tyler. Interment in the family plot in Rose Hill Cemetery in Tyler will follow. A special memorial service for all of Walt's family, friends, and colleagues will be 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 18th at Flix Brewhouse in Round Rock. And there will be beer. Good beer. For Walt.

Memorial contributions may be made to Christ Episcopal Church, All Saints Episcopal School, both in Tyler, Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (, Pints for Prostates ( or to a charity of your choice.


Condolence & Memory Journal


live peace

Posted by eshan chandrarathan - kandy - Teacher   August 18, 2017


live peace

Posted by eshan chandrarathan - kandy - Teacher   August 12, 2017

Thinking often how blessed I was to have known such a wonderful person. Memories with you are forever.

Posted by Cheryl Ward - Austin, TX - Beer circle friend   June 11, 2015


Oh Bolivia, our hearts are with you. Nothing is so hard as to lose a child ( no matter how old)!
Joyce and Dick Finnegan

Posted by Joyce Finnegan - Plymouth, MA - Friend   June 05, 2015

It has been a year and you are so dearly missed. We will be gathering tonight at Flix and Homefield to celebrate your life and your many accomplishments. I am so very grateful to have met you in my life as you were such an inspiring person.Blessings and thoughts to all of the many friends and family left behind.

Posted by Cheryl Ward - Austin, TX - friend   June 04, 2014

Leave a condolence or a memory.

Posted by Donald l & MaryAnnHall - Louisville, KY - Pug Friend   July 02, 2013

Bolivia and Connolly- my heart is broken over the loss of your walty- I remember him at Katie's birthday parties when he was just a little boy.
Bolivia- I have wonderful memories of our nursing home visits with your little dogs. I attended the service at Christ episcopal and didn't get a chance to speak with you, but I have made a donation to responsible pet owners organization in walt's memory.
love, linda toney

Posted by linda toney - tyler, TX - friend   July 01, 2013


Connally and Bolivia:
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you both. May the peace of our Lord be with you and keep you in faith with Him. God Bless

Posted by Buddy Clarke    June 27, 2013

I never met or spoke to Walt and had never heard if him until reading of his passing. Although difficult to manage, please feel proud and happy that Walt seemed to touch so many in such a positive way. After reading about Walt, I wished I had the opportunity to have crossed paths with him. There is too much negativity, unhappiness, and unpleasantness in life but Walt seemed committed to living each day with passion, excitement, and to focus on the positive aspects of life. He certainly could not have been like that without the benefits of great family and friends. Condolences to all who held Walt dear, it seems like you are all better for the experience.C

Posted by Brian - Philadelphia, PA - None   June 21, 2013

Amazing service yesterday at Flix Brewhouse. Walt was so loved and revered. My thoughts and prayers to Walt's family, friends and loved ones.

Posted by Rob Contreras - Austin, TX   June 19, 2013

Under relationship, I put "friend and co-worker", but with Walt everyone would always be "friend and._______" because he was truly a friend to all who knew him. He will be deeply missed

Posted by Jan Parramore - Plano, TX - Friend and co-worker   June 13, 2013

Dear Connally & Bolivia,
We are so very sorry for your overwhelming loss. Please know that you are in our every thought & prayer...and always will be. With much love, The Wolfs...Carrie, Sam, Jonathan & Martie.

Posted by A friend   June 13, 2013

You were such a great source of encouragement and knowledge. I could always count on a helping hand and a point in the right direction, usually followed by a witty joke. You will truly be missed.

My deepest condolences for your loss.

Posted by Brandon Butterfield - Round Rock, TX - Co-worker/Fellow Beerknurd   June 12, 2013

Walt was an incredible guy. He had a smile that could light up a room and there's no way you could keep from smiling when you were around him. My prayers go out to his family and friends. May God bless you and keep you.

Posted by Dana Bruner - Plano, TX - Main Event Entertainment   June 12, 2013

Connally and Family:
I am so sorry about Walt, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your
Family. Take comfort in the fact that Walt is in a much better place.

Posted by Ron Frederick - Midland, TX - Friend of Family   June 11, 2013

Connally and Bolivia Ive known Walt from the beginning until the end and he was always the perfect gentleman.I will be praying for the two of you as you journey down this sad and lonely path.I wish I could take away the hurt and answer questions in your heart.I wish I could help you find peace and bring you comfort but most of all I wish I had more than just these words to let you know how truly sorry I am.Rest in peace Walt and know you were truly loved.Evelyn Hoover

Posted by Evelyn Hoover - Mesquite, TX - Friend   June 11, 2013


Dear Connally & Bolivia, I am so sorry for your loss, God needed him more than we did, he's in a better place and I know we will all see him some day. Kim

Posted by Kim Cox Griffin - Belton, TX - friend   June 11, 2013

Connally, Bolivia, Powell family, & Heather,

I am deeply sorry for your loss. I considered Walt to be one of my closest friends. We can take comfort knowing that Walt lived his life to the fullest, and was loved by people around the world. I wish I could be in Texas tomorrow to pay my respects alongside the rest of you. I will never forget him.


Posted by Eric Gajdzis - Schwenksville, PA - friend   June 11, 2013

Bolivia, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are headed your way through this terrible time.

Posted by Gay Oltjenbruns - Atlanta, GA   June 11, 2013

To say Walt was one of a kind is like saying KISS is a slightly flamboyant band. Walt was, and will always be, a larger-than-life ball of energy with an eye on the future and his heart in the right place. When one met Walt, it was impossible not to at least like the guy; Walt had as many enemies as I have Lamborghinis in my garage.

The mold was not only broken after Walt, it was nuked.

R.I.P., Walt. "Czech" you later...

Posted by Kevin "KAggie97" Scott - Spring, TX - Friend   June 10, 2013

I'm sorry for your loss. My he rest in peace and stay in our prayers.

Posted by Matthias Kafel - Dallas, TX - Family friend   June 10, 2013

Connally and Bolivia,

I am so very sorry for the loss of Walt. My family and I will keep you in our prayers and just know Walt is resting in Heaven now. Please let me know if I can do anything for you.

Posted by Shannon Rains    June 10, 2013

You are in my prayers, and pray you find peace in your time of sorrow

Posted by Kay Lievens - Belton, TX   June 10, 2013


Bolivia and Connally,

My deepest sympathies over your loss of Walt. He clearly lived a full, albeit all too short life. I hope that your happy memories bring you comfort and that God grants you peace in time to come.

Posted by Sonny Lelle - Austin, TX - Friend   June 10, 2013

Et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

Posted by Zofia, Roman. Maciej, Mateusz, Martin , Mark KAFEL - Dallas, TX   June 10, 2013

To the Family of Walter Powell Jr., We send you thoughts of comfort. Ecclesiastes 3:12 says, “ I have come to know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good during one's life;” I am sorry for your loss.

Posted by Thomas Libbey - Austin, Texas   June 10, 2013

Bo and Connally words cannot express the sorrow I feel for you. Take comfort in the joy that Walt brought to you. For me, always remembering him in the ring, barely bigger than the dog, brings smiles to my heart. Take care my friends.

Posted by LaRae Helstrom - Berryville, TX   June 10, 2013

As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.

Posted by A friend   June 10, 2013


Dear Bolivia and Connelly:
Please know that we are thinking of you during this time in your life. So sorry about Walt! Margo and Joe Klingler



Having served as organist for the wedding of Walt's parents, I also remember when Walt came along how happy and proud they were of him. Mostly I saw him as little boy when he visited his family here in Lufkin. It is always so sad when a life so full and just starting ends without any warnings.

My prayers and condolences to you both, Connally and Bolivia. He rests in the arms of in His presence now. A life so well lived will not be forgotten.

Posted by Grace Ann Wilson - Lufkin, TX - family friend   June 10, 2013



Posted by Katelyn Trinity - AUSTIN, TX - Former HFG Employee   June 10, 2013

Bolivia & family,
My heart aches for you. Please know my prayers are with you. If I can do anything to help, please just ask.

Love you,

Posted by Judy Franklin - Williamsburg, VA - Friend of Bolivia   June 09, 2013

Walt, I always knew where I stood with you! I will miss your car parked in the loading dock, watching us park so as not to be too close to it! Bouncing off the walls and still knowing what was happening in the whole place! You are one of a kind. Very sorry for us who are going to miss you, I can't wait to taste what you brew in Heaven!!!

Posted by Ron DeRenzo - Double Oak, TX - Customer, supplier, friend   June 09, 2013

Walt, my buddy. You left us way too soon. But you packed an entire lifetime into those 33 years. I'll miss you badly.

Posted by Mark Romero - Nolanville, TX - Friend   June 09, 2013

Bolivia and Connally - What a precious son ! I remember babysitting Walt when he was little and he was such a joy ! I've thought of you all often over the years and kept up with you through my family. I don't know any words that suffice in this time of sorrow. I do know, that God is there, with His arms around you - And His arms will never let go.You will be in my thoughts and prayers for a long time to come.

Posted by Anne Simpson Evans - Houston, TX - Next door neighbor in Tyler   June 09, 2013

Bolivia and Connally,
My heart is broken for both of you. Precious Walt! What great memories we shared when you guys were in Tyler. What an amazing man he became. You are in out prayers. Hope to see you. Janet

Posted by Janet (Ray) and John Hills - Tyler, TX - Friend   June 09, 2013

Walt was for me the greatest boss, a good friend and never missed an opportunity to teach, help out, or hit you with a practical joke. Having the privilege of working with Walt for the last three years, I grew accustomed to making sure of never leaving my email unattended or any food unattended around Walt. I think the best time was when I found a very burning/spicy flavor(Dave's insanity hot sauce) was added to some mild salsa that I turn put on some tacos that I had not initially shared with Walt. I asked Walt repeatedly what he did to my tacos. He ardently argued that he did no such thing to my tacos and he was right. I never thought to ask who messed with my salsa. I'll miss times like this that we have shared along with our several conversations about Indian food and world cuisine and world travels. You will be missed and never forgotten.

Posted by Rohan Sreenivasan - Round Rock, TX - Co-worker/Employee, Friend   June 09, 2013

Homefield Grill became mine and my husband's Date Night place. Partly because of the beer (ok, a large part), and partly because of the atmosphere. Walt was the atmosphere. He always stopped by our table to shake hands and give a hug.

Not being a beer drinker myself, I was completely ignorant of what was what. Walt never hesitated to answer a question or explain the different nuances of beer.

He was quick with a joke and a smile. He made each person he spoke with feel important.

Walt, you will be greatly missed, and will "lift a pint" in your honor in the years to come.

Posted by Becky Crownover - Round Rock, TX - Friend   June 09, 2013

So sorry to hear of your loss, Conally and Bolivia. your are in our thoughts and prayers!

Posted by Gary Peacock - Knoxville, TN   June 09, 2013

I only had the privlage of knowing Walt for about a year. In that time he has taught me so many things I will never forget. A great boss but a better person.

Posted by Brandon Hadlock - Austin, TX - co worker and friend   June 09, 2013


I still can't believe that you are gone. I will miss you lots. Rest well Walt. See you on the other side. Love you.

Posted by Kristen Hall - Lufkin, TX - Cousin   June 09, 2013

Walt, I never had the opportunity to know you as the person you grew to be.. I know I would have liked to have known you . I did however meet you ( sort of) once, but I will never ever forget it. It was the first time I met your mother Bolivia and your father Connally, while showing dogs in Oklahoma.. I later learned that your mother was pregnant with you.( during that meeting) ! Your mother, became a close personal friend to me, who I I will never ever forget! SHe and your father are in my thoughts and prayers right now as my heart is breaking for both of your parents .. I am sure you are in the loving hands of the Lord. Rest in peace.

Posted by Kurt Garmaker - Marietta, GA - friend of his family   June 09, 2013