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Cecil Calvin “Cal” Harrelson, Jr.: Elizabeth City

1948 – 2022

     Cecil Calvin “Cal” Harrelson, Jr. of Elizabeth City died on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at his residence. He was 74.

     He was born in Tabor City to farmers, the late Cecil Calvin Harrelson, Sr. and Clyde Lee Prince Harrelson.

     Cal graduated from Williams Township School (1966) shortly before being drafted into the Vietnam War. He served with the United States Air Force and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan for four years (1967-1971). After returning to the United States, he spent the entirety of his professional career as a pipefitter and welder, helping to build many of industrial factories spanning the I-95 corridor.

     Cal Harrelson was known for many things. In high school, he spent hours helping friends with their math problems and was a remarkably good dancer. After the war, he was the fun uncle racing cars on back roads and the cause of many hearty belly laughs. As a father, he let his daughters feed him crazy concoctions with a smile on his face, all the while graciously sitting through their hairstyling sessions, placing colorful barrettes in his thinning hair. He loved restoring muscle and vintage cars, with a special affinity for Opal GTs. You could often find him playing bass guitar or watching a NASCAR race. He was a kind and gentle man, salt of the earth; a friend to many and an enemy to none.

     In life and in death, Cal is fiercely loved by all having had the pleasure of knowing him.

     He is survived by his three daughters, Stephanie Caffee (Jason), Sarah Gustafsson (Stefan) and Jennifer Harrelson (Geordan); his brother, Larry K. Harrelson, Sr. (Genette); four grandchildren, Hayden Caffee, Noah Caffee, Liam Caffee and Gabriel Harrelson-Brinkley; nieces and nephews [Kathy Harrelson (Tommy decd.), Denise Harrelson Tungate, Larry K. Harrelson, Jr. (Rebecca), Ben Mannheim, Emilie Curry (A.J.), Jesse Davis]; and his partner, Jean Walker.

     In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Veteran Program at Outward Bound. The non-profit organization helps returning service members and veterans readjust to life at home through wilderness experiences, while helping to treat and prevent Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

     To make a gift in honor or memory of Cal, visit here and select Gift Designation: Veterans.

     A guest register is available here.