Joanne F. Harrell passed away peacefully on August 20, 2016 under the gentle and expert care of the nursing and medical staff on the Four South Medical Unit at St. Joseph Peace Health Medical Center.
Born in Port Townsend, WA, she moved often as a child and early teen so as to take advantage of expert violin teachers. Joanne became an accomplished violinist. She played in major symphony orchestras around the country and as a teenager in the 1940’s toured with the Tommy Dorsey Band. She was an extra in the 1942 movie “Humoresque” with Joan Crawford and John Garfield. From 1990-2004 she was concert master of the Whatcom Symphony Chamber Orchestra and associate concert master of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra. In 1998 she was a soloist with the WSO playing “Lark Ascending”. Even in retirement she continued to play with local quartets and at various music events around Bellingham. Her playing and presence was an inspiration to all who knew her and who heard her play.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband Charles Harrell and son Claude.
She is survived by daughter Linda Sigel and son-in-law Ming Kwong and granddaughter Lian Sigel-Kwong and close friend and companion of 20 years Jane E. Kletka.
Friends in the Bellingham music community can keep her memory alive each time they play. Her gentle, loving spirit and stunning musicality will be greatly missed by all who knew her. We love you, Joanne.
No services will be held per her request. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra in her memory.