Harrell, Jane Graddy (Dalton)

Thursday, May 12, 2022
Jane Graddy Harrell
Jane Graddy Harrell

Jane Graddy Harrell, age 85, of Dalton, Georgia, passed away Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

Jane was born Dec. 17, 1936 in Jacksonville, Fl. to Milton and Mable Graddy.

Jane was preceded in death by her husband, Monroe (Money) Harrell; parents, Milton and Mable Graddy of Jacksonville, Fl.; and brother, James Grady of West Palm Beach, Fl.

She is survived by her daughters, Kelly Harrell and Tracey (Tim) Burke; nieces and nephews; and her dogs and many, many friends.

Jane married her high school sweetheart, Monroe (Money) Harrell in 1956 after he was discharged from the Navy. They were happily married (and proof that opposites attract) for 60 years until his death in 2016. Jane and Money moved their young family to Dalton in 1971. Jane soon made her unique presence known in Dalton with her strong spirit of volunteerism, amazing energy, great “radio” voice, zany sense of humor and passion to affect change and help others. She was one of the most unique, warm, curious, funny, interesting and engaging people you will ever meet, and there was no “plain” about this Jane!

Jane was known for so many things in the Dalton community, but the roles she took most seriously was that of wife and mother. The Harrells were a tightly knit family who greatly enjoyed spending time with each other. Many happy and hilarious evenings were experienced by the Harrell family and friends on the “Lido Deck” of their home which included an indoor goldfish pond.

Jane was most widely known for her work in local radio and television. In the mid-1970s, Jim Honey, owner of WRCD radio station that was located in Downtown Dalton on Pentz Street, asked if Jane would like to do a radio talk show, and so the legend began. Jane’s amazing voice graced local radio for many years. Her interviews with local organizations to promote events and educate on causes were an important part of the community landscape. Jane often said that, “Over the years, I have met the most wonderful, inspiring, funny and entertaining people.” Eventually, the one radio station grew to four and became the North Georgia Radio Group. Jane continued her community interviews and introduced her well-loved “Southern Scenes ” series which highlighted local and state historical and contemporary subjects of interest.

Then came television. Jane was offered a television talk show on Charter Media by Faye Arnold. Of course, she said yes and had a successful nine year run. She was a multi-media sort of lady…doing both radio and television at the same time.

Then came print. Jimmy Espy, former editor of the Daily Citizen News, asked Jane if she would be interested in writing articles for the “Dalton Magazine.” As Jane said, “I guess I didn’t know about saying ‘no.’ ”

Her name is closely associated with Prater’s Mill Country Fair where she volunteered for 23 years and served as vice-president. Jane’s involvement with Prater’s Mill led to her serving as president of the Northwest Georgia Travel Association. She actively served on many boards including the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, Creative Arts Guild, Georgia Sheriff’s Cherokee Girls Estate, Elbert Shaw Youth Detention Center, Northwest Georgia Humane Society, Department of Family and Children’s Services and Whitfield-Murray Historical Society. Jane and Janet Goodroe organized the first several “Spring for the Arts” fundraisers for Artists in Schools for the Creative Arts Guild which were very successful and continue today. She organized Christmas Dreams every year for the Department of Family and Children’s Services collecting presents for foster children. In the early 1980s, Randall Maret asked Jane to head the Dalton Downtown Merchants Association, which evolved into the Downtown Development Authority. Jane was a long-time member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Dalton who embraced her community spirit and heart for those in need.

Although Jane often suspected that she was invited to be on boards because of the publicity she could provide through her radio and television shows, anyone who ever served with her knew Jane was very much a “working” board member with the added bonus of being so much fun to be around.

Then came cancer. Jane was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000. She kept up her busy schedule sporting a “G.I. Jane” ballcap on her hairless head and readily spoke to anyone diagnosed with cancer about her experiences. She felt so compelled to demystify chemotherapy and radiation for others that she wrote two brochures - Chemotherapy 101 and Radiation 101 - which were printed for Relay for Life one year. Jane placed them at oncology offices and other cancer-related treatment facilities around town. Those brochures were reprinted many, many times at the requests of those facilities. Jane’s humor and down to earth verbiage helped untold numbers of cancer patients over the past 20+ years.

Jane was an avid reader, enjoyed going on cruises and loved football – especially her Florida Gators! Above all, she enjoyed spending time with Money, Kelly, Tracey, Tim and all of the family’s dogs….and occasionally some very lucky friends who were invited on board the Harrell Lido Deck. Bon voyage, Jane. We know you enjoyed your journey.

The family will receive visitors at St. Mark's Episcopal Church (901 W. Emery St.) from 1-2:45 p.m. on Saturday prior to the memorial service at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Rick Tiff presiding.

In lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 901 W. Emery St., Dalton, GA 30720, or to the Humane Society of Northwest Georgia, 1210 Veterans Dr., Dalton, GA 30721


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