John Douglas Harrell was born November 17, 1922 on a farm west of Greensburg to John William Harrell and Ethel Beckett Harrell. He died peacefully in his sleep August 30, 2012 at South Wind Hospice in Pratt, Kansas. A life-long resident of Greensburg, he was always known as “Doug” or "J.D.” Doug attended Pleasant Valley school located northeast of Greensburg near the Rattlesnake River and graduated from Greensburg Rural High School in 1939. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II stationed primarily in Hawaii. On May 16, 1942, Doug married his high school sweetheart Mary Ruth Allison, who preceded him in death July 28, 1998.
After the war, Doug and Ruthie moved back to Greensburg where Doug began his career as a home builder. He took great pride in his work, specializing in individually-designed homes and unique custom cabinets that were sleek and smooth to the touch.. He was a perfectionist. His homes were solidly built; he was especially pleased with those homes that survived the 2007 E-5 tornado.
Doug’s second career was farming. The solitary aspect of the job appealed to him and he spent 50 years growing wheat and milo. His joy in growing things extended to his colorful flower beds bordering the corner curb.
Doug was a member of the First Christian Church in Greensburg serving as an elder. He belonged to the Kiowa Co. Masonic Lodge #293 and enjoyed moving through the ranks to past master. He was a volunteer fireman, a member of VFW and the NRA. Doug was an honest, well-spoken, valued member of the community who had many friends.
Doug is survived by his children Donna (Don) Hobbs, Prairie Village, KS and Mike (Rae) Harrell, Greensburg, KS; his grandchildren Dustin (Mardee) Harrell, Pratt, KS, Brent Harrell, Larned, KS, Jeremy (Barbara) Lawrence, Wichita, KS, and Joel (Carley) Lawrence, Anchorage, AK; his great-grandchildren Maci Lawrence, Pratt, KS, Lexi Harrell, Pratt, KS, Sarah and Jackson Lawrence, Wichita, KS, Gavin Lawrence, Anchorage, AK, Jake Douglas Harrell and Shelby Harrell, Pratt, KS. Other close relatives include his brother Reece Harrell of Clarksville, Ark. and his sister Sue Daniels of Norman, OK and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial services and celebration of Doug's life will be held 10:00 a.m. Thursday, September 6, 2012 at the Greensburg Christian Church with Pastor T.J. Lawson officiating. Inurnment with Military and Masonic services will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Greensburg. Friends may visit the family 5:00-7:00 p.m. Wednesday at Fleener Funeral Home. Memorials are suggested to the Greensburg Christian Church and South Wind Hospice, both in care of Fleener Funeral Home, 514 S. Main St., Greensburg, Kansas, 67054.