The Foreign Service Journal - May 2017
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MAY 2017



of Greenwich, Conn.; four grandchildren;

and his brother, Arthur Graham of East

Hampton, N.Y.

Donations in his memory may be

made to the Fund for American Diplo-

macy, AFSA, 2101 E Street NW, Washing-

ton DC 20037.


Roy A. Harrell Jr.,

81, a retired

Foreign Service officer, died on Jan. 16 at

Shannon Hospital in San Angelo, Texas,

of pneumonia.

Mr. Harrell was born to Roy Alvin and

Lucile Ingham Harrell on Jan. 9, 1936,

in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up on

the Harrell family ranch south of Ozona,

Texas, where he raised livestock, repaired

windmills, adopted stray wildlife and

enjoyed the 4-H Club and rodeos.

He was forever grateful to the Mayo

Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for saving his

eyesight, beginning with muscle trans-

plant surgery at the age of 4.

After finishing the eighth grade in

Ozona, Mr. Harrell transferred to the

Schreiner Institute in Kerrville, Texas,

and then went on to the University

of Texas, where he earned degrees in

economics and romance languages. He

spent one semester at the University of

Mexico as an exchange student.

Determined to prepare himself to

work in foreign affairs, Mr. Harrell first

attended Duke University Law School

and then the Johns Hopkins University’s

School for Advanced International Stud-

ies, where he obtained his doctorate.

He simultaneously pursued a master’s

degree in economics at American Univer-

sity in Washington, D.C.

In 1967 he married Charlotte Purcell

of El Paso, Texas, and she accompanied

him on many of his adventures during

the next 50 years.

Mr. Harrell worked for the Central

Intelligence Agency for a year prior to

joining the Foreign Service. He served as

a Spanish-English translator during the

Cuban Missile Crisis, and then joined the

U.S. Agency for International Develop-

ment, where he helped plan assistance

projects for various African countries.

Though he traveled widely on the Afri-

can continent, Mr. Harrell had perma-

nent assignments to Guinea, Chad, Niger

and Ghana. He had temporary assign-

ments in many other countries, including

Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau.

Two highlights of his life were meetings

with Albert Schweitzer in Gabon and

Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Mr. Harrell pursued many interests

throughout his life. A 60-year member of

Ozona Masonic Lodge, he also belonged

to several other lodges, including Eastern

Star. A Rotarian, he attended several

Rotary International conventions. He

was a lifetime member of the American

Foreign Service Association and a mem-

ber of DACOR. And he attended local

churches wherever he lived.

In 1995 Mr. and Mrs. Harrell retired

to the Harrell Ranch in Crockett County,

Texas, to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle

and tend to a small herd of Texas long-

horn cattle and many Boer goats, as well

as a deer-hunting operation. He was the

last of four generations of Harrells to own

and live on this ranch.

Academia always interested Mr. Har-

rell. At Angelo State University he and

E. James Holland, a retired dean, devel-

oped the E. James Holland-Roy A. Harrell

Jr. Foreign Affairs Speakers Program, an

annual event that began in 2003.

Mr. Harrell is survived by his wife,

Charlotte Purcell Harrell; his daughter,

Elizabeth Stuart Deal of Charlottesville,

Va.; two grandchildren, Phiala Ingham

Deal and Zephan Cardell Deal; many

cousins; and two aunts.

Friends wishing to honor his memory