Marvin Randolph “Randy” Harrell, 80, of Salisbury and Merry Hill, N.C., died Saturday, April 21, 2018.
He was born Dec. 8, 1937, in Wayne County, a son of the late Agnes and Marvin Harrell.
He graduated from N.C. State University with a master’s degree in counseling. He was a running back on the N.C. State football team from 1958-1960. He originally worked at Boys Homes of North Carolina at Lake Waccamaw in Whiteville, a sanctuary for hurting children (now Boys and Girls Homes). In 1966, he became a federal probation officer for the Middle District of North Carolina, U.S. District Court, with jurisdiction over 24 counties.
A lifelong student of North Carolina historical architecture and furniture, he and his wife, Sandra, worked on the restoration of many18thand 19thcentury log and timber-frame structures, including the Leo Miller homeplace on Old Beatty Ford Road, Salisbury; Elmwood Plantation in Merry Hill; the homeplace of artists Francis and Sarah Speight of Bertie County, and the Ward-Bass/Lilly-White timber-frame homes (1770-1809) in Merry Hill on historic Salmon Creek. Recent research names the Salmon Creek area of Bertie County as the possible relocation of the Lost Colony residents, once Roanoke was abandoned. He also compiled extensive research of early farmhouses in eastern North Carolina, called “A Story and A Jump” for the unique design. They also worked at Hope Plantation while in Bertie County and served as guides at the Old Stone House in eastern Rowan.
He shared his love of raising English setters, quail hunting and fishing with his children and grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Sandra; daughter, Ginny Harrell Conroy (Ed) of St. Paul, Minn.; sons, Greg and Will (Bonnie) Harrell, both of Salisbury; grandchildren, Riley, Hunt and Hannah Conroy, Cole and Jillian Harrell, and Anna and Liam Harrell; a sister, Virginia Harrell Duke of Claremont, FL, and nephew, Dr. Jeff Duke (Dana) of Claremont, FL.
A gathering will be held for friends and family Monday, April 23, 2018, from 5-7 p.m. at Trinity Oaks Activity Room, 820 Klumac Road, Salisbury.
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