Billy Gran Harrell

Thursday, October 19, 2017
Billy Gran Harrell

Monette -- Billy Gran Harrell, 81, passed away Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 in Little Rock. He was born Oct. 6, 1936, in Kennett to the late Talmadge and Ellen Green Harrell. He graduated from Childress High School in 1956. He married his high school sweetheart, Ernestine Ray, after graduation on May 24, 1956. He found joy in many activities with family and friends. They loved square dancing and went to several state conventions. They hosted many cookouts with family and friends for holidays and special occasions. They organized and held many cousin reunions at their home.

Billy Gran loved camping and hunting with his grandchildren. He and his grandson went on many hunting trips together, but confessed to liking making hot chocolate and campfire bacon more than the actual hunting. He enjoyed going to concerts and out to eat with his grandson and his friends. He traveled all over the country watching his granddaughter cheer and play softball. He also loved hunting and fishing with her, and even taught her to how to skin, clean and cook animals.

Billy Gran held many jobs during his lifetime. He worked in St. Louis for two years after he first married. They moved back to Monette in 1959 just before their first son was born. Billy Gran farmed for R.D. Jackson and his father Talmadge, and took his cotton picker to Texas to pick cotton for several years. He graduated from auctioneer school in Kansas City in 1968 and went on to hold auctions for farm equipment and estate sales. He bought and sold farm equipment, drove 18-wheelers, and in his spare time drove stock cars for fun. He raised and sold watermelon and cantaloupe as a watermelon broker. He finally quit farming to manage the Childress and Caraway Gins. He was drawn back into farming with his son Robert, and later with his grandson Brian. In 2007, he started Delta Grain Bag System with his son Robert, and as the business grew, his son Rick went to work with him. When he retired again in 2015, at the age of 78, Rick took over management of the company.

Billy Gran was very active in the community throughout his lifetime. He worked with the Boy Scouts and coached baseball with his sons. He was a member of the Monette Masonic Lodge for more than 50 years. He served on the Monette Co-Op Board of Directors for many years. He served as treasurer for the St. Francis Drainage District. He was a member of the Childress Baptist Church and attended Monette First Baptist Church.      

Billy Gran will be remembered as a loving husband, father, and grandfather and for his sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife, Ernestine Ray Harrell; two sons, Robert Keith Harrell (Carolyn) and Rickey Lynn Harrell, all of Monette; grandson, Brian Keith Harrell (Elizabeth), of Manila; granddaughter, Hannah Lynn Harrell, at UCA in Conway; two great-granddaughters, Adleigh Ann Harrell and Ezleigh Beth Harrell; a sister, Diane “Cookie” Senick (Lou) of Fayetteville; two aunts, Francis Harrell Adams, of West Memphis, and Martha Green Barnes, of Little Rock; along with many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by two sisters, Shirley Harrell, who died shortly after birth, and June Harrell Ashlock.

A celebration of his life with visitation will be held from noon-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, at Gregg Funeral Home Chapel in Monette with Rev. Jerry Reed officiating and special music by Penny Bibb Wamsley. Interment will be in Macey Cemetery.

Pallbearers are W.T. Bibb, Jim Ed Robins, Roger Bell, Bobby Pitts, Gary Sparkman and Vance Austin. Honorary pallbearers are Rolen Gamble, Rick Smithee, Mack Pitts, Ed Dempsey, David Lynn Harrell and Kirk Vaughn.

He will be dearly missed by all his family and friends.