John H. Harrell, Sr. of Uvalde, TX passed away on August 11, 2020 at Main Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, TX at the age of 85. He was born on January 29, 1935 in Houston, TX to Mildred (Wynn) and Dudley Snyder Harrell. He married Phyllis Collier on Friday, October 12, 1956 in the Chapel at First United Methodist Church in Uvalde.
John graduated from Uvalde High School in 1953. He enjoyed playing football, basketball, and baseball. He attended Schreiner University from 1953 - 1955 and transferred to The University of Texas in 1955 graduating in 1957. He began his career in education at Alamo Heights ISD in San Antonio as a teacher and coach in the fall of 1957. He returned to Uvalde in 1960 as a high school Biology teacher. Shortly after returning to Uvalde, John began his career in school administration and in 1992 became superintendent of schools here in Uvalde. In 1996, he was named Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards. He served a total of 38 years in education, retiring in May 2000.
John did step away from education for a brief time. He was self-employed for a few years operating John Harrell Real Estate and also worked for Gensco Inc. During these years in the private sector he also served as a Uvalde City Councilman and Mayor of Uvalde for two terms. In 1992 John was named Uvaldean of the Year by the Uvalde Area Chamber of Commerce.
Upon retirement from serving in education, John was hired by the City of Uvalde to be the city manager in February 2002 and served until he retired in March 2010. He once shared that he would only serve as city manager for a couple of years, but somehow that turned into eight.
John was lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church, Uvalde Rotarians and served on several local boards and committees: Uvalde Hospital Board, Uvalde County Appraisal District, St. Henry De Osso, Region 20 Regional Advisory Committee and multiple committees at the First United Methodist Church, and Uvalde Country Club.
He enjoyed spending personal time with his wife, family holidays and summer vacations with his grandchildren, worship with his Tuesday morning men’s prayer group, morning coffee at the fountain in Rexall Drugstore with friends, and organizing reunions for Uvalde High School Class of 1953.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years; son, John “Hal” H. Harrell, Jr. and wife, Donna of Uvalde; daughter, Julie Hipp and husband, Richard of Uvalde; five grandchildren, John Harris Hipp, Kristen Ann Harrell and wife Jessica, James Richard Hipp and wife Carly, John “Trey” H. Harrell, III and Jay Crawford Hipp; great-grandson Tate Michael Hipp; in-laws, Clarisie Harrell, wife of the late Jimmy Harrell, Bill Collier and wife Edie, Dwight Collier and wife Mary Ann, Sharron Carnes and husband Eddy, Richard Collier and wife Lee Ann as well as numerous nieces, nephews and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Jimmy Wynn Harrell and D.S. “Jack” Harrell and wife Jerry.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm at Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary in Uvalde.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 10:00 am at First United Methodist Church of Uvalde with interment to follow at Hillcrest Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be his grandchildren, John Harris Hipp, Kristen Ann Harrell, James Richard Hipp, John “Trey” H. Harrell III, Jay Crawford Hipp, nieces Ginger Waites and Cindy Wimberley and nephew Wayne Harrell.
Honorary Pallbearers will be nieces and nephews of the Collier and Carnes families and all the Citizens of Uvalde.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, First United Methodist Church of Uvalde, El Progresso Memorial Library or St. Henry De Osso Family Project.
*For those not able to attend services for Mr. Harrell, please check our Facebook page for Live Streaming on August 20, 2020, Mr. Harrell's funeral service will also be live-streamed into the John H. Harrell Auditorium on Thursday, August 20, 2020, the auditorium will be open at 9:30 AM for those who would like to attend.
*100-person maximum can be accommodated at the funeral chapel at time of Visitation. Upon entering the funeral home, requirements are that social distancing of 6’ feet is practiced as well as a mask to be worn for every person in the building.
*100-person maximum can be accommodated at First United Methodist Church in Uvalde. Upon entering the Church, requirements are that social distancing of 6’ feet is practiced as well as a mask to be worn for every person in the building.