James Van Harrell

Jim Harrell
James Van Harrell

Published in The Herald (Everett) on August 5, 2008

Jim took his own life early the morning of July 24, 2008 for reasons only he would ever fully understand.

Jim was born May 16, 1952 at Fort Lewis, Washington and grew up in Mountlake Terrace, Washington where he graduated from Mountlake Terrace High School in 1970. He lived in a number of cities and towns throughout the Puget Sound area, but finally settled just outside Granite Falls, Washington where he had many very close and dear friends.

As Jim's Mom said, "Jim was a drummer from the womb to the tomb". He played in several bands locally for well over 40 years, in recent years with Eddie Spaghetti and The Meatballs and he wore his Meatball badge proudly. As band mate and bassist Bill Kimball noted, "His drumming is so tasteful that people wonder why it isn't on the menu."

Jim's drum collection was amazing to see and included everything from tympanis to bongos and everything in between.

Jim was a connoisseur of music, especially the Grateful Dead, but his deep appreciation of folk, jazz, blues and country music was reflected in his huge collection of CDs and LPs. Jim also loved motorcycling and owned several Harley Davidson and BMW motorcycles over the years.

Jim was a proud member of Aerospace Machinists (IAMAW) District 751, working for The Boeing Company in Everett for 29 years before retiring in 2007.

Jim is survived by his father, "Van" Harrell, of Stanfield, OR; his mother, Gloria Harrell, of Woodinville, WA; brother, Ron (Barbara) Harrell, of Edmonds, WA; brother, Ken (Karen) Harrell, of Hermiston, OR; and sister, Sue (Brian) Meyers, of Woodinville, WA; aunts, an uncle, cousins and a nephew and three nieces who miss him so much. Jim was also a great uncle to three nephews and two nieces.

Jim is also survived by many of the musicians he played with over the years including, Rolf Larson, Bill Kimball and Ed "Eddie Spaghetti" Doan to name a few, and his Granite Falls family and fellow musicians, including (but certainly not limited to) Bob, Caroline, Jamie, Jeff, Vince, Celeste, JoJo, Kenny, Butch and Tina.

Jim was preceded in death by many, including his dog, Pearl, whose company he is enjoying once again.

The family will be holding a small, private memorial. There will also be a public memorial at 2 p.m., August 10, 2008, at the Granite Falls Eagles (402 N. Granite Avenue) to which all are invited and encouraged to attend.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the food bank of your choice.