WORLD-OBITS-L ArchivesArchiver > WORLD-OBITS > 2005-07 > 1121731364
From: "Peter_McCrae" <>
Subject: HARRELL; Clarence Arvin-13/5/2005-USA/TX
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 01:02:44 +0100
ARVIN HARRELL: 1938-2005
Funeral home owner had special compassion for grieving families
Services are scheduled for today after his death Friday from brain cancer.
Monday, May 16, 2005
Jerry Harrell remembers how his father often had to leave Christmas dinners
or other family events when the phone would ring.
Arvin Harrell was building a funeral home business, and that often meant
driving to pick up bodies or meeting with grieving family members to
coordinate memorial services.
Twenty years later, Harrell leaves behind a 10-employee business that
conducts more than 300 funerals a year, and his family must prepare services
for a man they say helped thousands of people through the same process.
"It's been pretty difficult," said Jerry Harrell, who now runs Harrell
Funeral Home with his brother, Jason, and mother, Patsy. "It's different to
be on the other side of the coin."
Arvin Harrell, 66, died Friday after a two-year battle with brain cancer.
Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. today at Manchaca Baptist Church.
Burial will follow at Live Oak Cemetery.
Friends and family say they remember Harrell as a tireless businessman whose
compassion for families helped him build one of the region's most successful
"He cared about the community and the people he served," said Laurens Fish
III, owner of Wilke-Clay-Fish Funeral Home. "It wasn't about the business
itself. It was about helping people, and the business came with it."
Harrell graduated from the San Antonio College of Mortuary Science with an
apprenticeship under Jimmy Clay at Wilke Clay Funeral Home. Several years
later, he became assistant manager of Weed Corley Funeral Home and later
co-owner of Wilke Clay Funeral Home.
In 1980, Jerry Harrell said, his father decided to go into business for
himself and took about four years to open the funeral home on Frontier Trail
in South Austin.
Jerry Harrell said clients quickly followed, largely because so many people
knew his father through the numerous groups and associations that he had
joined. He was a member of the South Austin Rotary Club and the Founders
Lion Club of Austin, among others.
"He wanted to be everybody's friend, and hopefully, when the time came, he
would have the honor of being able to take care of their families," Jerry
Harrell said. "He wanted to give the best service he could to the families."
About 15 years ago, Arvin Harrell expanded his operation to Dripping
Springs, where he built a funeral chapel. The family also is planning to
open a chapel in Buda.
In the tight-knit funeral home business, Billy Peel, owner of Austin-Peel
and Son Funeral Home in North Austin, said, it is not unusual to hear
unflattering rumors about competitors.
He never heard anything bad about Harrell.
"He has always tried to be very fair with people," Peel said. "He was
genuinely a good person."
Clarence Arvin Harrell Jr.
Clarence Arvin Harrell, Jr. Arvin Harrell, age 66, went to be with the Lord
on May 13, 2005, after a two year battle with brain cancer. He was born on
May 24, 1938 to Ruby and Clarence Arvin Harrell, Sr., who preceded him in
death. Arvin grew up in South Austin Texas and graduated from William B.
Travis High School in 1956. He then attended Southwest Texas State
University in San Marcos and continued his education at San Antonio College
of Mortuary Science. Arvin began his career in Austin by serving his
apprenticeship under Jimmy Clay at Wilke Clay Funeral Home. His career
continued at Weed Corley Funeral Home, becoming an Assistant Manager; and
later became a co-owner of Wilke-Clay Funeral Home. In 1984 he built and
established Harrell Funeral Home in South Austin and now has a Funeral
Chapel in Dripping Springs and a future Chapel in Buda. He was a tireless
and dedicated funeral director/ embalmer for over 40 years. Arvin began
providing service to his community at an early age, while receiving his
Eagle Scout Award. He was active in many organizations including Onion Creek
Masonic Lodge #220 A.F. & A.M., Scottish Rite Bodies; Ben Hur Shrine. He was
past president of several organizations: Texas Funeral Directors
Association, Founders Lions Club of Austin, West Austin Lions Club, Austin
Woods & Waters Club, and South Austin Civic Club, where he was recently
honored as Business Man of the Year and Business of the Year. Arvin was a
member of South Austin Rotary, Woodlawn Baptist Church, Onion Creek Country
Club, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, Texas Bighorn Society, Rocky
Mountain Elk Foundation and Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
Arvin was proud of his South Austin roots and supporting local youth as a
buyer at the Austin-Travis County Livestock Show and Hays County Livestock
Show for many years. He enjoyed the outdoors playing golf, camping, fishing
and hunting, making several hunting safaries for North American big game in
Alaska, Canada, USA and Mexico. Arvin also enjoyed raising Beefmaster Cattle
on the Harrell Ranch southeast of Lockhart, the peace at the lakehouse on
Lake Travis and participating in activities with his old friends from Travis
High School. Arvin leaves behind his wife of 41 years, Patsy Harrell; sons,
Jerry Harrell and his wife Terri, Jason Harrell and his wife Christy;
grandsons, Caleb, Hunter and Zac Harrell; brother, Royce Harrell and his
wife Karole; sister, Sonya Hergotz and her husband Bill; several nieces,
nephews and cousins including special cousin and business partner, Camille
Clay. The family will receive relatives and friends from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.,
Sunday, May 15, 2005 at Harrell Funeral Home in Austin. Funeral services
will be held 11:00 a.m., Monday, May 16, 2005 at Manchaca Baptist Church
with Reverend David Smith and Reverend Jack Burton officiating. Burial will
follow at Live Oak Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may
be made to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe, Houston, Texas 77030,
(800-392-1611), Shriners Children's Hospital, 6977 Main St. Houston, TX
77030 (713-797-1616 or a charity of your choice. Arvin will be greatly
missed by his family, friends and funeral home staff. Arrangements by
Harrell Funeral Home, 4435 Frontier Trail, Austin, TX 78745 512-443-1366.
Harrell Funeral Home
South Lamar and Ben White
at 4435 Frontier Trail
Austin, TX 78745
Fax: (512) 443-1942
|HARRELL; Clarence Arvin-13/5/2005-USA/TX by "Peter_McCrae" <>|