Otwell, Harold E.

May 30, 1933 - June 4, 2015

Harold E. Otwell peacefully passed from this life June 4, 2015 in Plano, Texas following an extended illness at the age of 82.  Born in Jasper, Alabama on May 30, 1933, he was the son of the late Ershel C. Otwell and the late Mary Louise Barton Otwell Powell, both of Jasper.

He served 2 separate tours of active duty with the United States Air Force: the first during the Korean War stationed in Germany as part of the 1st Pilotless Bomber Squadron, and the second ending in San Antonio, Texas where he served as a jet engine mechanic.  During his enlistment, he was awarded a National Defense Medal, Army Occupation Medal (Germany), 2 Good Conduct Medals, and an Air Force Longevity Service Award.

In 1956, he met Mary Ann McGhee in Daytona Beach, Florida while he was stationed there and she was on vacation.  It was love at first sight.  They were married July 6, 1957, and they remained best friends and lovers for 38 years until her passing in 1994.

After being Honorably Discharged from the Air Force in 1962, he was hired by Western Electric Company as a telephone lineman, and stayed with what would become AT&T as a project manager in a career that spanned nearly 30 years.   He retired from AT&T in 1989, and he and Mary Ann built their retirement home in Readyville, Tennessee.  Harold was a dedicated, responsible man who went out of his way to fulfill his commitments, both professional and personal.  Within the family, having a similar attitude toward life is referred to as “doing The Harold”.

Harold will be forever remembered as an active, adventurous man with a love of nature and family.  He was a friendly, funny man who enjoyed camping, fishing, canoeing and rafting.  He also loved games such as pitching horseshoes, billiards, pinochle, Yahtzee, Risk, UNO and assorted card and board games.  Many enjoyable evenings were spent with friends and family in friendly competition.

While raising his family in Marietta, Georgia from 1964 – 1989, he resided in Birchwood Park, where his home was a second home to neighbors and friends, especially the friends of his two children, Donna and Brad.

Harold will be remembered by many for his long service to the Boy Scouts of America, first as a Scoutmaster for Troop 573, and later as a District Commissioner with the Atlanta Area Council.  He shared his love of the outdoors and fishing with hundreds of young men, helping them to achieve their life goals by example rather than just words.

He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Donna and Justin White of Frisco, Texas, his son Brad Otwell of Frisco, Texas, and 2 grandchildren, Cady Otwell and Jesse Otwell of Plano, Texas,

A graveside memorial service for Harold will be held at 11am, Thursday June 18, 2015 at Walker Memorial Gardens, 692 Highway 5 in Jasper, Alabama.   Floral tributes may be sent directly to the cemetery, but in lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donation to the charity of one’s choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252


3 replies on “Otwell, Harold E.”

Mickey says:

I have good memories of Harold and the Otwell clan, but the one I tell the most is about canoeing the Okefenokee Swamp. Harold, Brad and others were on the trip. Brad and I swamped our canoe. It’s always worth a laugh.

Brenda Otwell McAdams and Georgia Otwell says:

Sending sympathy to the family. So sorry to hear of Harold’s passing.

Doris M. Cain and daughter Melissa R. Hanes says:

As a sister-in-law and niece to Harold’s father Erschel, it was our pleasure to meet and speak with Harold during his stay in Jasper, Alabama. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family during this difficult time.

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Excellent customer service, they made you feel like you were their only customer. Very helpful and explained what we should expect during the process. They basically took care of our needs during this time. They contacted DFW National Cemetery for us which made it a smooth experience. Definitely will use them again.

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