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Tom Allen Harrell

July 2, 1954 ~ May 1, 2022 (age 67)

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Obituary

Tom Allen Harrell, Jr. affectionately known as "Buster", of Banning, CA., passed away peacefully on May 1, 2022 at his home after a long-term illness at the age of 67. Tom was a veteran, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and beloved community member. The funeral service will be held on May 18th at First Missionary Baptist Church in Banning at 11:00 am.
Tom was born in Miami, FL. on July 2, 1954, to Mable Leland and Tom Allen Harrell, Sr. The family moved to Banning in 1961 where Tom was educated through the Banning Public School System. After graduating high school, he joined the Army and proudly served in the US and Germany for 3 years, and 1 year of service in the National Guard. He then went on to work as a carpenter and builder for over 20 years. He made a significant career change late in life, working evenings as a school custodian to attend college full time. He went on to earn an AA in math and behavioral sciences from Mt. San Jacinto College, and a BA and Masters in Social Work from CSU San Bernardino. He then worked in Student Services in the Banning School District, and as a Social Worker in San Bernardino County and at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital until his retirement. In addition to his career achievements, Tom's passion and life's work was music. He began singing and playing the harmonica and drums as a child and started his first band at age 12. He became skilled in every musical genre and was an amazing performer, providing the pulse and rhythm for 10+ bands over the course of his lifetime. His favorite experience was with the Blue Breeze Band, an all-black jazz and R&B band that he performed with up until 2020.
Tom was a well-known member of the Banning community and long-time member of First Missionary Baptist Church and band. A friend and support to many, his door was always open to those in need of council, guidance, or shelter. He especially enjoyed helping the young black men in his community and acted as a father figure and friend to them and so many others.
He is survived by Shelly Conn Harrell, his loving wife of 35 years of Banning, CA. Four children: Alicia S. Harrell of Rialto, CA; Dana D. Washington (Alvin) of Carlsbad, CA; Nicole Evans of Banning; and Shawn Evans (Joanna) of Beaumont, CA. Siblings: Pinkie Harrell White, Dianna Murrell Walker, Crystal White (Darnell) and Tharroshia Harrell, all of Banning; Shelia Wimberly of FL; Ruben (Janice) Harrell of Palm Springs; Tony Simmons of FL; Dolores Harrell Nelson, Lake Elsinore; Jacqueline Hodrick (Cassius) of MN; Sharon Harrell Starr of Lake Elsinore; Conella Harrell and Tom C. Harrell of Banning; and nieces Melissa Ingram Jenkins (Eric) and Josette Ingram Wollaston (Norman) of La Quinta, CA. Four grandchildren: Titus Washington, Elijah Washington, Mynia Stewart, and Haliey Evans. He also leaves behind close friend and Uncle Emory "Buddy" Harris of Banning, and a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends spanning the country.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Kathy Harrell Ingram and Michelle Owens, and nephews Treilan Hunt and Demetrius Jenkins.

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Services

Funeral Service
Wednesday
May 18, 2022

11:00 AM
First Missionary Baptist Church
332 N Allen ST
Banning, CA 92220

Memorial Service
Wednesday
May 25, 2022

10:45 AM
Riverside National Cemetery
22495, Van Buren Boulevard
Riverside, CA
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Service begins

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