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Duane Harrell

March 1, 1924 April 29, 2013
Duane Harrell
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Obituary for Duane Harrell
Duane Eloise Curtis Harrell of Emporia, Virginia was born on March 1, 1924 to Clarence E. and Ida Wilkinson Curtis of Chester, and passed away peacefully on April 29 at Harbor’s Edge in Norfolk. A loving mother and grandmother, devoted wife and loyal friend, she was preceded in death by her husband The Honorable Lyman Christian Harrell, Jr., her brother Clarence E. Curtis, Jr. and her grandson Mark S. Neale. Her dearly loved sisters-in-law Martha H. Jean, Elizabeth H. Vaughan, Nancy H. Butler and Lucille H. Keedwell also predeceased her. A 1941 graduate of Thomas Dale High School in Chester, she was President of her senior class and was involved in numerous academic and service clubs, both as a leader and an energetic participant. She graduated from Mary Washington College in 1945 with a BA in English and was an active member in a number of school activities. She taught school in Colonial Heights early in her career and later returned to the teaching profession in Emporia where she later retired. Mrs. Harrell was a dedicated and talented member of Monumental Methodist Church and served as choir director and as church organist for 40 years. She was active in the political career of her husband Lyman and supported her community and fellow citizens for the 48 years that she was proud to call Emporia her home at 529 Ingleside Avenue. Life and the people she loved and met along the way sustained her, and she enjoyed so many pursuits - from local clubs to bridge, music and dancing. She embraced all she did for her family, her home, her students and her friends with selfless devotion, energy, enthusiasm and joy. She is survived by her daughters Duane (Dee) Harrell Roberts and son-in-law Harvey W. Roberts, III of Norfolk and Linda Harrell Bachman and son-in-law Bruce C. Bachman of Richmond, and son Randolph Curtis Harrell and daughter-in-law Anne R. Harrell of Alexandria; step-daughters Elizabeth (Bet) Harrell Neale and son-in-law Dr. Mark Neale of West Point, and Martha Frances Harrell of Newport News and step-son Lyman C. Harrell, III and daughter-in-law Lynn G. Harrell of Memphis, TN; her grandchildren Will, Jonathan and Michael Roberts; Katie, Randy and Peter Harrell; Karen McMahon and Bruce Bachman; Nancy Neale Blahnik and Cheryl Neale-McFall, Courtney Gilbreath and Kristen Harrell and eight great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Vernelle N. Curtis of Chester and many loving nieces and nephews. Her family wishes to send special appreciation to the caring staff and her friends at Harbor’s Edge in Norfolk, her home for the six years. Mrs. Harrell’s life will be celebrated at a service on Thursday, May 2 at 11 am at Monumental United Methodist Church in Emporia with internment to follow at the Emporia Cemetery. There will be a visitation with the family at Echols Funeral Home in Emporia on Wednesday night from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Monumental United Methodist Church in Emporia, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Mark Smith Neale “Cross of Life” Memorial Scholarship. Condolences may be sent to Echols Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements.

Visitation Wednesday, 6-7:30 pm
Funeral Service Thursday, 11:00 am, at Monumental United Methodist Church
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