William Durward Harrell, Jr.

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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William “Bill” Durward Harrell, Jr., 80, of Albany, Georgia passed away May 28, 2023 with friends and family by his side.  Bill was a native of Bainbridge, Georgia and a 1960 graduate of Bainbridge High School.  He studied Vocational Education at Valdosta State University.  Bill lived in Atlanta for a short time but resided in Albany most of his adult life where he was a member of Westover Community Church. Bill was a talented craftsman, known for building homes and furniture.  Bill was part owner of Gillespie-Harrell Printing Company in Albany.  He taught Graphic Arts at Lee County High School.  Bill was a gifted musician who played multiple instruments and was a member of many bands. He was one of the original members of the band Relapse. Bill composed many songs, a few of which were recorded by Nashville Artists.   He appeared multiple times on the television show, You Can Be a Star, in the 1980s performing Babe, You’re All the World to Me, and Danger, Soft Shoulders, both songs he composed.  He was a skilled Luthier; he bought guitars in need of restoration and refurbished them with a beautiful body, neck, headstock and frets to create a magnificent sound.  One of his hobbies was visiting pawn shops searching for old guitars.  He also brought guitars back to life for friends and people in the community.  He was so soft spoken, kind and generous; many friends and family members have cherished guitars that once belonged to him.  In his later years he performed with his guitar and keyboard in various establishments in the Albany area. 

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William Durward Harrell and Agnes Sasser Harrell, his brothers Joseph David Harrell and Lawrence “Larry” Elisha Harrell and his first wife Duane Arney Harrell.  

Bill is survived by his best friend and former wife, Laura DuVernet Harrell, by his children William “Trey”  Durward Harrell III, Heidi Elizabeth Harrell, Kathleen DuVernet Kim (Richard), Jenny Phillips Cowen (Blake), his grandchildren Courtney Greer Harpe (Brian), Hannah Cecilia Jones, Fisher Harrell Taylor, Hays Ferguson Cowen, Parker Thomas Cowen, Kate DuVernet Kim, Great Grandchildren Chloe Brielle Harpe and  Zoë Brielle Harpe and siblings Pat Harrell Underwood, Susan Harrell Driggars (Duane), Deedy Harrell (Sheila Powell), Jane Harrell Kinchen (Lesley) and Glenn Harrell (Missy) and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

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A Celebration of Life will be held at a place and time to be announced later. 

To sign our online registry, or to send condolences to the family, you may visit Mathews’ website at www.mathewsfuneralhome.com.