Fred Robinson Harwell

Published 10:44 pm Thursday, May 28, 2009

By Staff
Fred Robinson Harwell of 201 Magnolia Drive, Pamlico Village, Washington, North Carolina, passed away at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem at 5:40 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. He was 99 years old.
Mr. Harwell was born in Cabarrus County, N.C., on October 10, 1909. He was the son of Thomas Edgar and Sarah Ann Isenhour Harwell, and was the third of their five children. He shared his birthday with his father and his grandfather, each of them having been born on the same date exactly 25 years apart.
Mr. Harwell graduated from Winecoff High School, near Mooresville, N.C., in 1928. He served in the United States Navy from 1931 until 1935 and again from 1942 until 1945. He saw duty during World War II as a radioman in the Pacific Theatre aboard the U.S.S. Chester, a cruiser, and in the Philippines. He was an active-duty Naval Reservist after the war and retired in 1969 as a Radioman Chief Petty Officer. He was a member of the American Legion and an early supporter of the Navy Memorial Foundation. At the age of 97, Mr. Harwell sang “You’re A Grand Old Flag” at the American Legion’s 2007 flag destruction ceremony in Veterans Park in Washington, N.C.
Mr. Harwell moved to Beaufort County, N.C., in 1945 and worked for the City of Washington until his retirement in 1975 as the city’s Tax Supervisor and Collector. He was a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church of Washington, where for many years he sang in the choir. At the age of 65, he took up golf and became passionate about the game. He shot his age or better on several occasions and played once or twice a week until he was 98-years old.
Mr. Harwell was married in 1973 to Grace Martin, for whom the Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center in Washington, N.C., is named. They were both active in civic and community affairs and the church. They both enjoyed playing bridge and dancing. They both loved, and embraced, life. Grace Martin Harwell passed away in 2003.
Mr. Harwell is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Fred R. Harwell, Jr., and Joslin Davis, of Winston-Salem; his grandson Scott Robinson Harwell and wife Hayley of Greensboro; his grandson Josh Chamberlain Harwell, of Charlotte; by his stepson Dr. Wayne Martin and wife Carol of Keller, Texas, and their three children, Valerie Lynn Martin of Loveland, Colorado, Michelle Underwood of Keller, Texas, and Theresa McIntyre of Wilmington, N.C.; by his stepson William N. Martin and wife Sandra, of Greensboro, and their two children, Will Martin and Mary Beth Day, both of Greensboro. He is also survived by his 97-year old sister Mary Bradford, of Kannapolis, and her children, Sue Laney and John Thomas Bradford of Kannapolis and JoAnne Kerr of Port St. Lucie, Florida; and by his 94-year old brother Horace Harwell and wife Mary Bland of Wilson, N.C., and their two sons, Horace Harwell, Jr., of High Point, and William Harwell of Raleigh; and by other nieces and nephews.
Mr. Harwell was a loved and respected father, a resolute citizen, a caring friend. He had a subtle wit and a winning smile and, always, a twinkle in his eyes. He was a quiet man, but he liked to whistle and did so happily all the time. The world seems an empty place now that he is gone.
Funeral services will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Washington at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 29, 2009 and will be conducted by Rev. Danny Allen and Rev. Susan Harrison. Burial will follow in Oakdale Cemetery. Larry Boyd, Mickie Cochran, Bartow Houston, Larry Ormond, William N. Martin and Scott Robinson Harwell will serve as pallbearers.
The family will receive friends at Paul Funeral Home in Washington, N.C., between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2009.
Donations to charity, especially to local Humane Societies, would be appreciated in lieu of flowers.
You may address condolences to the Harwell family by visiting
Paul Funeral Home of Washington is serving the Harwell family.
Paid Obituary