Roy Merrion Harwell Jr. (1929 - 2013)

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  • "I am so very sorry to hear about his passing. Praying God..."
    - Janet Price
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    - Gene Arrowood
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    - Jerry & Gayle Warren
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    - Renee Kilgo
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GASTONIA - Roy Merrion Harwell Jr., 83, of Gastonia, died Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at Peak Resources in Gastonia.

He was born July 14, 1929, in Charlotte, the oldest child of Roy Merrion Sr. and Helen Lowery Harwell.

Roy was a graduate of Gastonia High School and graduate of Oak Ridge Military Academy Class of 1948. He began his career as a design engineer for Buensod-Stacey Industrial Air Conditioning for five years where he designed a 900-ton chiller tower. He was then an engineer with Firestone Textiles, McDonnell/Douglas and Wix Filtration. Roy then worked for Homelite Manufacturing, where he established the outboard assembly line. In 1962, with the help and support of his wife, they founded Harwell Enterprises from their garage, a business where he was the innovator and design engineer for numerous patents related to screen printing machinery and hockey stick manufacturing.

Roy was a former longtime member of Linden ARP Church and a current member of Christ United Methodist Church. He was also a member of Gastonia #369 A.F. & A.M., Sertoma Club, Toastmasters, Junior Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scout Troop 14, York Rite Bodies of Gastonia, Scottish Rite Bodies of Charlotte, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Plastics Engineers.

Mr. Harwell is survived by his wife of 54 years, Elizabeth "Lib" Jackson Harwell, of Gastonia; sons, Roy M. "Rocky" Harwell III; Scott F. Harwell and wife, Kim, all of Gastonia; four grandchildren, Hannah, Griffin, Charlotte Harwell and Ross Harwell; brother and sister-in-law, Robert "Bob" and Sandy Harwell; sister and brother-in-law, Betty H. and Charles Hodge, all of Gastonia; sister-in-law, Mary Jane Dulin and husband, Buck, of Bowling Green, S.C; numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Thomas E. Jackson.

A service to celebrate Roy's life will be 4 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, in Founders Chapel of McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia with the Rev. John Stanley officiating. The family will receive friends after the service at the funeral home. Interment is private.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Shriner's Hospital for Children, 950 West Faris Road, Greenville, SC 29605.
Condolence messages may be sent online at

McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the family of Mr. Harwell.
Funeral Home
McLean Funeral Directors
700 South New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 865-3451
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Published in Gaston Gazette from Jan. 19 to Jan. 21, 2013