Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 9, 2012

College fund offers lasting memorial

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Some friendships can last forever as one area college student’s vision is coming true of honoring a deceased Pauls Valley grad with a lasting memorial scholarship fund.

Alex Long, an East Central University senior from Ada, came up with the fund idea to honor his longtime friend Jeremy Harrel, a PV graduate who passed away in a car accident on Dec. 6, 2011.

One year after Harrel’s death the green light has been given to establish a scholarship in his memory.

The thing about this scholarship is someday, once the funds are built up, it will be awarded to a Pauls Valley High School senior who plans to attend ECU.

“I think this is a good way to remember him,” Long said about Harrel and the scholarship fund in his name.

“This is a way to remember him and what he stood for; plus it helps someone going to college.”

Long said he and Harrel had become friends after first meeting a few years ago.

“I met him through school at Ada,” he said. “We were good friends, hung out.”

After Harrel’s tragic death last year Long was involved in a class project that called for him to do an interview. He chose to interview Mike Turpen, who served as Oklahoma’s attorney general back in the 1980s.

“During the interview we were talking about Jeremy and he mentioned doing something like this was a good way to remember someone, to honor someone.”

Long met with officials with the ECU Foundation and Harrel’s parents to tell them about the idea. All were on board from the beginning.

“Everybody seemed excited about it,” Long said. “We got more and more serious about doing this.

“It’s still in the early stages but the foundation is going to do what it can to help and his parents are going to play a big part.”

Harrel was a PV graduate but also attended Ada and Byng high schools. His passion was athletics as he was involved in several sports.

Harrel was described as a natural-born competitor and wanted to excel in everything from recreational softball to college algebra.

After graduation from PVHS, he attended Oklahoma State University his freshman year. He was a lifelong OSU Cowboys’ fan and was able to live his dream of attending school there before coming ‘home’ to ECU.

Harrel, who was noted for his remarkable ability to make people smile and laugh, was well-liked and a positive influence to everyone. He also spent a lot of time with friends and made a permanent mark on all of their lives.

Donations to the Harrel memorial scholarship fund can be made to the ECU Foundation, 1100 E. 14th, Ada, OK, 74820.