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Robert Ewing Harwell Jr.

Robert Ewing Harwell, Jr., age 80, Nashville, TN, died late in the evening of January 3, 2016. Born on June 5, 1935, in Nashville to Robert and Jane McKelvey Harwell, he is survived by his wife of 57 years, Elizabeth Creighton Harwell; children, Jane (Dan Whittle) of Carrboro, NC, Rob III of Chapel Hill, NC, and Tom (Clark Elam), of Nashville; grandchildren Emery, Dale, Gordon, Caroline, Thomas, and Will Harwell; and by his two brothers, Jonathan Harwell and Coleman Harwell and their families.
Rob graduated from, and was a loyal supporter of, the Peabody Demonstration School, Deerfield Academy, and Vanderbilt University (Class of 1957). After serving two years in the US Navy, he studied for a year at the Yale Divinity School before rejoining the Deerfield community as an English teacher and admissions officer. After his father’s death in 1966, Rob returned to Nashville to join the management of Neely Harwell and Co. and Phillips and Quarles Hardware.
Always interested in education, Rob served as chairman of the board of Ensworth School and on the Board of Visitors of Vanderbilt Divinity School. He chaired the board of the Mental Health Association, served on the Parthenon Conservancy Board, and was an elder and longtime choir member of Westminster Presbyterian Church. Rob loved his Nashville associations and was a rich repository of local history, and a quiet supporter of many local organizations.
Rob loved music, storytelling, and the outdoors. He took the Jack Tales and his guitar to entertain children and adults in schools, churches, libraries and parks. He shared stories with friends in the Coffee House Club, rode with the Hillsboro Hounds, and played guitar with a group called the Outbound Freight.
A celebration of Rob’s life will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Saturday, January 9. Visitation will begin at 9:30 AM followed by the service at 11:30.
Rob’s family thanks all who have loved and cared for him.
In lieu of flowers, you may offer support to Alive Hospice of Nashville (1710 Patterson St. 37203) and the music program of Westminster Presbyterian Church (3900 West End Ave. 37205).