Sky Scene 06

Ronnee Jean Harrell

October 5, 1950 ~ May 12, 2020 (age 69)


Ronnee Jean Harrell (Bell) of South Haven, Michigan passed away on May 12, 2020. She died peacefully in her home with her close family present after a long struggle with cancer. Ronnee was born on October 5, 1950 in Pontiac, Michigan and spent her childhood in Northville with her brothers, Rick and Jeff Bell. She graduated from Northville High School in 1968. Ronnee went on to receive a bachelor's degree in health education from Western Michigan University and completed nursing school with a BSN from the Bronson School of Nursing in Kalamazoo in 1972. While in Kalamazoo, she met a young medical intern from the University of Michigan who also was working at Bronson Hospital. Their hospital romance quickly led to marriage and Ronnee wed Dr. Donald E. Harrell on December, 30 1972. The couple moved to Grand Rapids while Don completed his medical training before returning to Kalamazoo where they settled in a home on Greenlawn Avenue. Ronnee gave birth to a son, Ryan Harrell, on October 31, 1976 and had a daughter, Amanda Seyburn-Harrell on December 9, 1978 to complete their family. The couple found a church home at Alamo Avenue Christian Reformed Church and later were active as members of Immanuel Christian Reformed Church. Ronnee worked part time as a nurse along with Don at the Family Health Center and later at his private practice while focusing on raising their children. She lived a life of service playing a crucial role in church activities, volunteering at the Kalamazoo Deacons Conference, and in support of Vietnamese refugee families in the area. Ronnee and Don moved to South Haven in 2000. In South Haven they joined Peace Lutheran Church and later worshipped at Epiphany Episcopal Church which became an especially important community for them. Ronnee and Don were always involved in outdoor adventures and travel--especially focusing on exploring Michigan rivers in their kayaks. They were instrumental in the development of the Bangor-South Haven Water Trail on the Black River and served as board members for many years. Ronnee continued her commitment to volunteerism with work at the Michigan Maritime Museum, the Historical Association of South Haven, and the South Haven Memorial Library. Ronnee had a love for reading, coffee shops, museums and long walks. She and Don spent many weekends visiting favorite destinations in Michigan. She was a best friend and caretaker to her mother, Phyllis Wilczewski and the two were active members of the Scott Club. Ronnee loved time with her family including visits with her daughter Amanda and son-in-law Adam Seyburn who reside in East Lansing. She was completely enamored by her grandsons, Treyton, Keegan, Ryer, and Tagg, and she spent as much time as possible watching their soccer games and ski races with her son Ryan and his wife Abby. Ronnee’s love and commitment to her husband Don led to a strong and joyous marriage full of great adventures and many stories. Ronnee lived a life of service and compassion with a humble commitment to those around her. She was an emotional support for many and a reliable friend. Above all else, Ronnee was a child of God and her faith was evident in her daily life.


Private family services have taken place. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Ronnee’s memory to the South Haven Memorial Library, 314 Broadway Street, South Haven, Michigan 49090. Ronnee has been laid to rest at the Church of the Epiphany Episcopal Church Memorial Garden. 


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