Marshall Allen Harrell II
October 22, 1934
July 31, 2023
Marshall Allen Harrell II was born on October 22, 1934 in Washington D.C. He passed away peacefully on July 31, 2023 in Austin, Texas. Marshall grew up in San Antonio, Texas and attended Alamo Heights schools. He was proud to be a member of the 1951 State runner-up then the 1952 State champion Alamo Heights Mules basketball team. Two years later, his brother Donald also won a basketball state championship.
Marshall attended the University of Texas where he earned degrees in both business and law. He took his first year of law school while completing his fourth year of his undergraduate degree so that he could save money. While at UT he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and a service organization known as the Texas Cowboys. During his college years, he had dated his future wife, Shelly Smith, although their lives went on divergent paths for a good while. After college, he joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves where served for six years (’58-‘64).
His first job was at Humble Oil & Refinery Company (now Exxon) in New Orleans followed by a few years as an independent landman. He leased land for oil and gas from “Louisiana to Montana and all points in between.” The landman work introduced him to the owner of the title company in Burleson County where Marshall became a part owner and eventually the full owner and ran the title company and practiced law for the next 45 years. He was driven to succeed. He did not care for working at a large corporate office and for others. He wanted to rely on himself. Recalling his mother telling him that “you can always do better,” and “don’t settle with what others are doing,” he did indeed become a successful businessman.
He was a single man in his 30s and working as a landman in northeast Texas when his sister-in-law Eugenia, who lived in Dallas, called to tell him that “Shelly Smith is back on the market.” Naturally, he called Shelly and they went on a date in Dallas and fell back in love. He would fondly recall Shelly telling him, in 1968 “thanks for coming back into my life. I hope you never leave it.” They married on June 17, 1969 at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas. Marshall now had a wife and her three children, Shawn, Helen and Shelton, ages 9, 7 and nearly 4 at the time. They welcomed another son, Marshall, in 1971.
With Marshall’s widowed mother living in Brenham and the title company opportunity in Burleson County presenting itself, the family moved to Brenham in 1973 and lived there for 10 years before Marshall, Shelly and Marshall III moved to San Antonio where they stayed until Marshall and Shelly moved into a care facility in Austin in January of 2020.
He is survived by his sister, Elaine Mitchell of Amarillo, Texas, his sister-in-law Jody Henderson of Houston, Texas. Also, daughter Shawn Fisher and her husband James of Fulshear, Texas and their children Rachel (Dan) Czar and Rebekah (Andrew) Maes. Also, daughter Helen Proctor and her husband Dale of Arlington, Texas and their children Bryan (Jessica) Proctor, Christopher (Sara) Proctor and Emily (Collin) Praught. Son, Shelton (Kristi) Foerster of Kerrville, Texas and son Hofmann (Sarah) Foerster and daughter Brittany Foerster. Also, their son Marshall (Leslie) Harrell III of Austin, Texas and their children Virginia and Marshall Harrell IV. Marshall and Shelly had 15 great grandchildren. He is survived by numerous nephews and nieces and their spouses and children whom he loved. He was preceded by his wife Betty Shelton (Shelly) Harrell on August 28, 2022. Also, his parents, Marshall and Mary Lee Harrell and his in-laws Tillman and Virginia Smith. He was also preceded by his brother and sister-in-law Donald and Eugenia Harrell and his brother-in-law Boyd Henderson.
Marshall grew up a Methodist but became a Presbyterian after marrying Shelly. They were members of the Brenham Presbyterian Church the First Presbyterian Church, San Antonio.
While Marshall never lived in Burleson County, Texas he loved it there. He enjoyed his clients, loved his work, admired the work ethic of the people and appreciated the relationships he had there. It is for this reason he requested that anyone wishing to offer a memorial in his honor to do so to one of the three school districts in the county. Caldwell I.S.D. Education Foundation, 203 N. Gray St. Caldwell, Texas 77836; Somerville I.S.D. Education Foundation, PO Box 997, Somerville, Texas 77879; Snook I.S.D. ATTN: Business office, PO Box 87, Snook, Texas 77878.
Marshall will be buried at Prairie Lea Cemetery in Brenham, Texas at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, followed by a Celebration and meal at the Brenham Country Club beginning at 5:00 p.m. with a Time for Tribute at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend both occasions.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Brookdale Northwest Hills in Austin for caring for Shelly and Marshall during their final few years.
“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a Heaven for?” Robert Browning