Daphne A. Harrell’s Eulogy
by: Niki Harrell
Daphne was born in Warwickshire, England on May 21, 1922. She was just 17 when WWII began and she enlisted as a WAAF. She learned to drive a jeep and was sent on scouting missions to find enemy airplanes and report back their locations to command headquarters. Daphne also used England’s early radar to help identify German planes crossing English Channel.
Daphne met Wilson Harrell during WWII and they married and had 4 children. She and Wilson moved stateside in 1959, settling for a short time in Alma Georgia, Wilson’s home town. They soon moved to Southport Connecticut. In the mid 1960s they built a home in Westport Connecticut on the mouth of the Saugatuck River. They live there until 1970 when they moved to Florida. Daphne lived in Jacksonville Florida until 2012 when the family finally got Daphne to move to Charleston, SC where she passed away on February 22, 2017 at the ripe old age of 94!
Daphne was a very strong and caring woman. She worked hard at being a perfect corporate wife. She helped Wilson grow his commissary food brokerage business to one of the largest, if not the largest military food brokerage business in the 1970’s.
Daphne worked tirelessly hosting parties and traveling all over the world. She helped pioneer the Military Wives of the Year Club. She joined the Harvard Business Club traveling all over the world. She had a large network of friends:
Floyd and Sadie Harper
Celeste and Ed Jared
Jack and Jackie Phillips
Anita and Leroy Hemingway
Ollie and Jan Matson
Consuelo, Eva’s mom
Marilyn and Bobby Hardage
And dear dear Osmah & Margaret Harrell
I think back to Mom’s dear friends and I have to laugh. Karen reminded me of a story of Jan Matson, standing in the dog’s water bowl, having a very serious conversation with Karen.
Mom traveled back and forth to Georgia to meet and eventually care for both Floyd and Sadie. She loyally visited Jackie and Suenell weekly. Together Mom and I visited Robert Hardage the week before he passed away.
Mom was a member of the Garden Club for over 25 years. She worked diligently for the National Society of Arts and Letters, an organization that aims in promoting and assisting young artists in all disciplines of the arts up until the age of 29. Mom volunteered for this organization for over 25 years and she sat on the board as the financial planner.
I think Mom’s true love was raising her “English Bulldogs” We had Lady, Jason and Mr. Pip. Of course when her Bulldogs passed away she was so happy when Marc gave her little Boris, a dachshund. Mom became quite the lover of cats when her dogs were gone. Mom always named her cats Pussy Cat, for convenience of course!
I feel like everyone came away with a little of Mom, stubbornness, determination, devotion, loyalty, fairness, caring, love of life, love of children, love of gardening, I still envision Mom driving around on a tractor on Scott Mill road and planting her famous Mondo grass. I have a life time of memories of Mom. When we lived in Southport, CT I would love to get up on Saturday mornings and watch my favorite TV cartoons and shows, Adam Ant, Mighty Mouse, Sky King etc. Mom would make me turn off the TV at noon and go outside and play. Not for just an hour of play but all day. We would go down to the creek and she would say “ now don’t take off your shoes” When we came back up from the creek she would catch us every time carrying our shoes trying to tiptoe past her.
Mom visited me and stayed with me after everyone of my births and when Maddie was in Hospital. If she couldn’t make it up to where I was in NJ, she would call me faithfully every morning to check in and see how we were doing.
Dear Uncle Doc (Osmah Harrell) once said, maybe more than once, the best thing Wilson ever did was bring Mom into this family.
Those we love don’t go away
They walk beside us everyday,
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
Still love, still missed and very dear.
We love you Mom!
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