Claremore Daily Progress

Obituaries

June 29, 2014

Warnock D. Harwell

CLAREMORE — Graveside service for Warnock D. Harwell will be 10 a.m., Monday, June 30, at Woodlawn Cemetery with Pastor Phil Platner officiating.  Military honors will be conducted by the U.S. Army.  Burial will follow under the direction of MMS-Payne Funeral Home & Cremation Service.

Warnock passed away Thursday, June 26, 2014, at his home at the age of 91.

The son of Claud D. and Evelyn M. (Warnock) Harwell was born June 26, 1923, in Oklahoma City.  Warnock attended the Oklahoma Military Academy from 1938-1942.  In 1942, Cadet Harwell met his future wife, Gloria M. Kelley, daughter of Captain and Mrs. P.H. Kelley.  She was living with her family in OMA Faculty Housing on the hill and Cadet Harwell was a trumpet player in her father’s band.

After graduation from OMA and receiving a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army, Warnock and Gloria were married on Aug. 26, 1943, at Ft. Riley, KS.

During WWII, Lt. Harwell served in combat with the 112th Calvary Regimental Combat Team in the New Guinea Campaign, and in the Layte and Luzon Campaigns in the Philippine Islands.  When the war ended, he was assigned to the First Calvary Division in Japan, and was later joined by his wife.

After returning to the U.S., assignments included the 101st Airborne Division, 3rd Armored Division, and ROTC instructor at the University of Illinois.

In June 1951, he was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division for duty in Germany and was later joined by his family.

From 1954 to 1958 he was assigned to the Joint Task Force Seven and participated in atomic bomb tests conducted at the Eniwetok Proving Grounds located in the Marshall Islands.

In November 1958, he was assigned to the defense Atomic Support Agency in Washington, D.C.  In June 1963, he retired from the Army with the rank of Lt. Colonel.  

Lt. Col. Harwell was awarded 12 decorations and service medals to include the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorius Service.  In addition, he was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.

In July 1963, Lt. Col. Harwell moved his family to Southern California where he accepted a position as a Federal employee with the U.S. Air Force.  He retired from Federal employment in Oct. 1983 while serving with the Air Force Space Division in Los Angeles, Calif.

In Oct. 1984, he and Gloria returned to Claremore where they first met, and established permanent residence in Tacora Hills overlooking Lake Oologah.  

Lt. Col. Harwell was a member of the Retired Officers Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Lakeside Full Gospel Church in Oologah.  He loved attending gun shows;  and also enjoyed collecting skulls, swords, and guns.  In 2007, Lt. Col. Harwell was awarded the Oklahoma Military Academy Distinguished Alumni Award.

Survivors include his children:  Linda Harwell of Tulsa, Cindy Johnson and husband, Bill of Catoosa, and Jerry Harwell of Long Beach, CA;  grandchildren:  Brett Allen Johnson and Brenna Lee Knaup and husband, Anson;  and great-grandchildren:  Brett Donovan and Braden Lane Johnson.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Gloria;  and son, James P. Harwell.

Leave your memories of Lt. Col. Harwell and view his tribute online at www.mmsfuneralhomes.com.

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