Life Story: Kelton C. Harrell, 55; Had Many Hobbies, Passions

Kelton C. Harrell, of Somerset NJ, passed away on August 26 in Columbia, South Carolina at the age of 55. He was born in Rahway and lived in Edison before moving to Somerset in 1999.

On February 19, 1968, Marvin and Jessie Harrell were delighted to welcome their newborn son, Kelton Charles Harrell, and their family was complete. Through the years he worked side-by-side with his dad learning to build anything and fix everything. His mom enjoyed the great conversations they had about the bible and made sure he knew how to clean and cook. He surprised his parents at 6 years old when he found a book, read the ingredients and made bread for himself.

His first adventure away from home was when he spent the summer with his grandmother in Mayesville, S.C. And although he was far from happy about it, he formed a longing to see his uncles, aunties and cousins in South Carolina and Georgia. Family reunions were a staple throughout the rest of his life.

Kelton was educated in the Rahway school system. When he completed his primary education, he attended DeVry Institute and began his career in Information Technology. He went on to work for corporations such as Coopers & Lybrand and William Grant & Sons until he found his true passion in real estate and worked hard to build his own business, renovating and flipping houses. He was amazing at whatever he set out to do.

His hobbies were numerous. Fishing, building remote control cars and boats, playing bass guitar, riding motorcycles, ATV’s and driving fast cars. His classic 1982 Porsche Targa was his ultimate toy. Talking was his favorite pastime. He would talk about his goals and dreams, favorite memories, give advice and gladly debate any subject, even if he was the only one enjoying it. His favorite music was house music.

Although Kelton was an only child, he had a lasting bond with his best friend, John and his cousins Darrell and Stacey. They were like brothers, constant figures, sharing many of his adventures, hobbies and passions in life.

He dedicated his life to Jehovah soon after high school and met his loving and supportive wife of 31 years, Tonie Goodman, at a circuit assembly at the Stanley Theater Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Jersey City. They walked by each other, going in opposite directions, and he went back into the crowd to find her. They wed on October 26, 1991 and their family was complete when they welcomed their daughter Nadia Deneé Harrell. He proudly taught her things like riding a bike, driving a car, building a fire and managing finances. He was her best friend.

With Tonie, Kelton acquired five sisters with their families and so lovingly embraced them all. The warm home he created for his family became a second home to all of his nieces and nephews as well. It was open to one and all for vacations, getaways, hideaways, rest and relaxation or just because—any excuse to come. To make things happen, he lovingly carried out any request his wife would make.

To mourn his passing, Kelton leaves his loving and supportive wife, Tonie, his cherished daughter, Nadia, loving parents, Marvin and Jessie Harrell, a host of uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family members, sisters and brothers of his heart (John Ellis, Darrell Brown, Stacey Gore, Latease Bradley, Tara Gannon, Gayetta Goodman, Kinya Goodman, Terri and Pete Bell, Michele and Corey Rogers).

Memorial service and visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. September 9 at the Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton Street, Somerset.

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