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Georgia Louise Etheridge Harrell, 87, originally of Virginia Beach, VA, passed away peacefully on January 10, 2023, at her home in West Chester, PA.
A resident of Middlesex County for nearly 50 years, Mrs. Harrell was born to Vernon Ackiss and Eva Elizabeth Etheridge in the small town of Creeds, Princess Anne County, VA, on September 21, 1935. Louise was the 12th of 13 children; which included seven sisters and six brothers. With a head for numbers, she was valedictorian of Creeds High School’s class of 1954 and went on to work as a bookkeeper upon graduation.
Her first bookkeeping position was with Tidewater Chemical Corp in Chesapeake, VA. In 1965, she moved to Fredericksburg, VA, to oversee the opening of Tidewater’s new plant in Stafford County and then subsequent offices along the Eastern Shore and in Chapanoke, NC. Through this process, she mastered the art of diplomacy and became known for her composure, professionalism, and quick wit.
Louise married Will Rufus Harrell in 1970. The business grew to 12 branches in four states, ultimately becoming known as the largest independent liquid fertilizer manufacturer east of the Mississippi River and expanding to include grain elevators as well as distributing seed and chemicals for crop production. Mrs. Harrell was a close advisor and confidante to her husband and led office operations and financial interests for the company. Small in stature and soft-spoken, it was easy to underestimate Mrs. Harrell in her role – a tendency she delighted in using in her business dealings.
The Harrells made their family home on Corbin Hall Farm, a 2000+ acre working farm in Samos, VA. While there, Mrs. Harrell was the consummate host to state and local officials, colleagues, members of the community and yacht club, friends and family. She was deeply dedicated to Mr. Harrell in his later years. After Mr. Harrell’s passing on August 18, 2006, she continued to operate the farm until 2017.
She was known for her generosity to those less fortunate, her steadfast loyalty to Rufus, her commitment to the Methodist church, her selective hearing, her outright refusal to answer questions she didn’t care to, and her sharply honed sense of humor. She dearly loved her family, Cutty Sark and water, and the state of Virginia – from its farmlands to its beaches – which she only begrudgingly left in 2018 to be closer to her daughters and grandchildren.
Mrs. Harrell is survived by her two daughters, Susan Lynnette Pugh Cashman (Chris) of West Chester, PA and Leslie Jean Pugh Margolis (Andy) of Huntingdon Valley, PA, one brother Bennie James Etheridge (Jane) of Virginia Beach and Belle Haven, VA, as well as five grandchildren, Wes Cashman (Beth), Leigh Cashman, Kate Cashman White (Michael), Taylor Margolis and Dillon Margolis and two great-grandchildren, John and Mac Cashman.
She was preceded in death by her husband Will Rufus Harrell and siblings, Mildred Ackiss Wilson, William Thomas “Tony” Etheridge, Vernon Alfred “Jack” Etheridge, Rosa Jane “Polly” Flora, Wilson Edward “Dick” Etheridge, Harrison “Harry” Lee Etheridge, Bertie Mae Trump, Lena Elisabeth “Betty” Henley, Florence Virginia Nicklaus, Nelson Jerome “Jerry” Etheridge, and Ada Anita “Nita” Harrell.
The family extends their heartfelt appreciation to Frances Grenier, Robyn Morgan, and the aides and staff who assisted during her final time at home at Arbour Square in West Chester, PA.
The funeral service will be conducted at 11am, Friday, January 13, 2023, at Oman Funeral Home, 653 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA. Relatives and friends are invited to visitation with the family at 10am prior to the service. Interment will follow at Chesapeake Memorial Gardens in Chesapeake, VA. Please join the family post-interment at Greenbrier Country Club, 1301 Volvo Pkwy, Chesapeake, VA 23320.
Friday, January 13, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
Friday, January 13, 2023
Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)
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