Harrell, Hattie Belle (Mrs. R.F.)

11/16/1974

Mrs. R.F. (HATTIE BELLE) HARRELL
1877-1974
 
Mrs. Hattie O’Pry, wife of the late Rev. R. F. Harrell of the Louisiana Conference, died in Gulfport, Miss., on November 16, 1974 at the age of 97. The Rev. and Mrs. Harrell served first in the Mississippi Conference and then in 1917 they came to the Louisiana Conference. They served the following churches in Louisiana: Waterproof, Tallulah, Gilbert, Many, Columbia, Pineville, Lecompte, Ponchatoula and Covington.
Mrs. Harrell loved every part of the Methodist Church, but probably her first love was the W.S.C.S. She was a contributing editor for the women’s work to what was then called the New Orleans Advocate which represented both the Louisiana and the Mississippi Conferences. The Harrells are survived by two sons, Robert F. Harrell, Jr., of New York, N.Y., and James Harrell of Gulfport, Mississippi, and one daughter, Miss Natalie Harrell of Gulfport.
Mrs. Harrell was a beautiful spirit. I visited her in Gulfport, and when she knew that I was a United Methodist minister from Louisiana she was lovingly excited. She had a light on her face which indicated the warm deep fellowship that we enjoyed together. I thought after visiting her of the phrase in Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” when he described the bishop’s wonderful Christian sister with these words: “A little flesh bearing a light.” This described Mrs. Harrell. She carried this light for almost a century.
She had unusual ability as a writer. Her daughter gave me a clipping that someone sent to her that her mother had written about a friend of hers that had died. This was what she wrote about her:
She was a breath that issued forth
From the mind of the Eternal One,
And in a swift flight
Passed over our land, and quickly
Gave us the message, then returned
To the skies.
This could well be written about her own lovely life. The beautiful appreciation that her children had for her bears living testimony to the quality of her life.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1975; p. 188 By D. W. Poole