Ilene Cook Harral

11 entries
  • "Mr Harral and Melissa, I am so very sorry for your loss...."
  • "I will always remember Cookie as a special friend in Fort..."
    - John Armistead
  • "Cookie has been a very special angel, putting her own pain..."
    - Dixie Herrington
  • "Richard and family... It was so much fun to live across the..."
    - Joan and Bob Bristol
  • "Melissa, we're so sorry for your loss. We didn't have the..."
    - Linda Dorn
The Guest Book is expired.

Ilene Cook Harral
EL DORADO, AR - Ilene Cook Harral, 70 of El Dorado, passed away November 30, 2014, at Courtyard Health & Rehab. She was born February 25, 1944, to Henry and Tillie Little Cook in San Angelo, TX.
Ilene grew up in Fort Stockton and married Richard Harral February 9, 1960. She moved to Lubbock with him to live there until he graduated from Texas Tech and took a job with DuPont. She attended Tech until they moved to Wenonah, NJ where they lived for seven years.
Ilene attended Texas Tech and then Glassboro State (now Rowan University in New Jersey), University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and graduated with a BS in Mass Communications from Lamar in Beaumont. She fit her education in with being a wife and mom, which she considered the most important parts of her life. She followed Richard around the country, molding her life around his career.
Ilene's Wenonah activities included being a Girl Scout leader, member of Underwood Memorial Fourth Auxiliary, deacon in Wenonah First Presbyterian Church, being a student at two colleges, playing bridge, tennis, ice skating, making trips into Philadelphia when possible and being invited to great parties by the many nice people in Wenonah.
She moved to Beaumont, TX when Richard was transferred there and made friends through bridge and tennis. She learned to water ski at Lake LBJ at the Harral home there. She was determined to finish college and finally finished at her fourth college in 1978 earning a degree in mass communications. She then traveled to Italy and Europe with a group for six weeks, sending back feature stories and photos for the Beaumont newspaper.
When she returned, she became feature writer for the Beaumont Enterprise & Journal (two daily newspapers at the time) and then food editor. Later, she wrote press releases and magazine articles in public affairs for Gulf States Utilities (now Entergy). She was hired there mainly because the CEO had liked articles she's written about problems GSU was having completing its first nuclear-power plant. She had quoted that CEO accurately; she did not believe in interpreting or changing the facts for readers. They could decide for themselves.
Later, Ilene also made friends with the company president and flew around to the five divisions helping with publicity events. Early on, he called her up to his office when she wrote in her weekly newsletter about a "powerful explosion" in the new GSU coal plant. He told her, "That's the trouble with you (ex) newspaper people; you want to tell too much too soon!" She asked him how he wanted her to write about it, and he told her and after that trusted and liked her.
She was also active in First United Methodist Church, was a member of Beaumont United Way Budget and Admissions Committee, and helped to found the Beaumont Camera Club. When her daughter Melissa had almost completed college, Ilene quit working so that she and Richard could travel. She was always glad that they made many wonderful trips while they were still young and healthy.
In 1988, Ilene and Richard moved to Aiken, SC where she played golf, tennis and bridge and was active on the Aiken Women's Heart Board. She worked briefly for Westinghouse SRS in public affairs, took some advanced writing courses at the local college and won some awards and was published whenever her teacher made her enter contests. One such award was the annual Martin Luther King award for writing about being black. She never knew how she got that prize except that she could write about almost anything.
Nine years later, Ilene followed Richard to Anniston, AL and lived briefly in the dream home she'd spent four years designing another year building. In 1998, they moved to El Dorado, AR when Richard took a job there. She redesigned and rebuilt the dream home and lived in it on an old dairy farm. She was active in First Baptist Church and twice served on the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra board. She always loved plays, churches, art museums, gardens, symphony music and all the many wonderful people she met. All her life, she especially enjoyed talking and being with her mother, one of her best friends in life. Ilene was proud to be a sixth generation Texan.
She is predeceased by her father, Henry Cook.
She is survived by her husband, Richard and daughter, Melissa Harral and her husband Dan Dorn. She also is survived by her mother, Tillie Cook, and her sister, Quita Cook Cooper and her sister-in-law, Martha Sue Harral Hanks and their families and many Texas cousins.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, December 3, 2014, at Young's Funeral Director's Chapel with Dr. Matt Pearson officiating. The family will receive friends forty five minutes prior to services. Burial will be in Lakeland Hills Memorial Park in Burnet, TX.
Memorials may be made to Union County Animal Protection Society, 1000 Sunset Rd., El Dorado, AR 71730, Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranch, PO Box 3964 Batesville, AR 72503, or First Baptist Church, 200 W. Main, El Dorado, AR 71730.
An online guest registry will be available at
Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on Dec. 2, 2014
Arrangements under the direction of:
Young's Funeral Directors
508 Champagnolle | El Dorado, AR 71730 | (870) 863-7121
Send Flowers
Funeral Home Details