Harrell died Saturday May 8th 2021 at the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Clarksville, Tennessee. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Austin and Bell Funeral Home in Tennessee. Visitation services are scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 14, and from 9:30 a.m. to 10:0 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, at Calvary Bible Church in Joelton, Tennessee. The funeral will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the church. Harrell will be buried in Murray, Kentucky, at 2:30 p.m. at Murray Memorial Gardens.
Harrell was stationed aboard the USS Indianapolis in 1945, guarding components of the atomic bomb it was carrying. In one of the most notorious stories of the war, the ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sank, leaving its crew fighting for their lives in shark-infested waters. Of the crew of 1195 men, Harrell was one of only 316 to survive. He later returned to the U.S. and owned and operated the Pella Window Company in Rock Island, Illinois, for 35 years until his retirement in 1985. Along with his son, David Harrell, he wrote the book “Out of the Depths,” relating his experience in the USS Indianapolis disaster. In 2018, Harrell and the other remaining survivors of the USS Indianapolis were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal. His death leaves only five survivors of the disaster still living.