STUDLEY, Virginia


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MURRELL, Donovan Grace "Gracie," aged 22, passed away peacefully in her parents' arms on May 12, 2013, after a valiant battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and pneumonia. She was the beloved daughter of John Murrell and Vicki Hardy-Murrell of Mechanicsville. She was preceded in death by her paternal grandfather, Fred Murrell Sr.; and is survived by by her parents; paternal grandmother, Louise Murrell of Mechanicsville; maternal grandmother, Pat Jaccard of South Carolina; maternal grandfather, Richard Hardy of New York; in addition to several aunts, uncles, cousins, an array of teachers, caregivers and friends. Gracie touched many lives and was loved by all she met. She taught us all patience, tolerance, unconditional love and the importance of laughter! She was filled with joy; her smile was radiant and contagious. Her favorite things were babies, animals and car rides. She also enjoyed therapeutic horse riding at Horses in Services (HIS). Services will be held Thursday, May 16, at 5 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 8005 Atlee Rd., Mechanicsville. You may join us at church at 4 p.m. to view pictures and share memories. Tie-dyed or bright colors are encouraged. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hanover Arc, 804-798-2400 or The Faison School for Autism, 804-612-1947.

This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Guest Book

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I learned so much from having Gracie in my class as did the children! She was a loved member of the MCV child care family. God bless you as you hold her memory in your heart.
Gayle Lanning

Vicki and John,

I know that Gracie added grace and love to your life! Through her you grew in wisdom and passionate dedication and you share that with others. May God grant you peace and a firm understanding of all that you gave her and all that she in return gave to you.

Love Patsy Moon

The memories I have of Gracie have helped me in my many years of teaching. I still recall her crawling into my lap and laying back in my arms with the most delightful look on her face. She enjoyed all of the other children in the child development center at MCV and they took such good care of her as well. Her ability to communicate with a few looks and motions reminds me that relationships are grounded in our ability to listen and respond to others and Gracie modeled this every day. I...

Gracie's friend, Kendall

Dear Vicki and John,

Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of your beautiful daughter, Gracie.
You probably don't know me, but you may know my son, Kendall Duggan, who was a classmate of Gracie's at the Faison School.
I was so sorry to hear of your unimaginable loss. I wanted to tell you that I saw Gracie so many times when I was at Faison with Kendall.
Every single time I saw your daughter, she had a beautiful smile on her face. Her beaming, happy, joyful...

tis funny life leads us exactly where we should be at the right time in our lives..accident? I think not..Vicky-I found out yesterday when we spoke Gracie started her new journey with God..i know you and John will find comfort thinking of the wake her waves made..they go further than we ever know..i will carry her smile in my heart

I loved Gracie's smile! I was infectious, loved spending time with her at "CLUB". Will continue to pray for your family.

So sad for your loss. Love ya, Nancy Thompson

Dear Vicky and John,
My time with Gracie will never be forgotten. I had been working in Child Care for almost 8 years when Gracie started at the VCUHS Child Development center. And I fell in love with her the first time we met. She had such a beautiful smile and an easy spirit that drew the other children closer. I was thrilled to see how quickly the others children took to Gracie and often I would see them gently patting her back and the joy they all had when they would pull her in...

Deepest sympathies offered to Gracie's family. May remembering her bring you comfort. During this difficult time remember, "God is for us a refuge and strength," Psalms 46