Howard Harrell

December 21, 1941 - March 20, 2017
Mattawan, MI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
222 N. Kalamazoo Mall, Ste. 100
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 345-0273
Driving Directions
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Howard Harrell went peacefully to his Lord with his wife by his side after a brief illness on Monday, March 20, 2017. It was ironic that he went on the first day of spring, a season in which he loved. Howard was born on December 21, 1941 in Jackson, Michigan, the youngest child of Lamoine and Myrtle Harrell and grew up in Jackson. He had a very adventurous childhood and when he became an adult he lived in Florida and New York where he was a horse groomsman. A bold spirit who loved the outdoors and probably would have fit in better in the 1800’s as he was a mountain man at heart. He made his own hatchets, knifes, mountain man clothing and shot muzzle loaders. If left in the wilderness, he was self-sufficient. His love of nature was reflected in his hobby of photography. He met Catherine Diljak while working at Humphrey Products and they were married on July 16, 1988 at the Unity Church in Kalamazoo and together they camped throughout the state and had many wonderful memories. Howard was a student of woodworking and Native American cultures. In today’s fast paced world Howard was one to take life one day at a time and enjoy the beauty of nature and everything that it has to offer. Howard was cremated and his cremated remains will be returned to nature in one of his most favorite spots. Surviving members of his family include his wife, Cathy; his brother, Ron; sister, Peggy (Bill) McCormick; Uncle Joe (Lucy) Harrell; and several nieces and nephews. Howard was preceded in death by his half brother Joe; his best friend, David Skippers; his father and step mother Betty; his mother and step father Harry Chown. There will be no formal services. Memorial contribution may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo 269-375-2900.