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Alice McNamara Harwell
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Obituary for Alice McNamara Harwell

Alice McNamara Harwell, wife, mother, friend, passed away peacefully October 25, 2017, surrounded by family, friends and caregivers. Services will be 2:00 p.m., Monday, October 30, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with The Rev. Raymond Joe Waldon officiating and The Rev. Sharon Cox assisting. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. There will be a reception at 12:30 p.m., in the Parrish Hall at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, prior to the service. Visitation will be 4:00-6:00 p.m., Sunday, October 29, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home.

Alice was born December 18, 1918, in Marlin, Texas, to John McNamara and Alice Goodrich McNamara. She attended Waco public schools and graduated from Baylor University in 1939. She married Dillard Harwell in November 1939, and they lived in Waco until he passed away in 1987. Alice had three brothers, Guy, John and Dan, who preceded her in death.

She was a lifelong member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. She served on the Altar Guild in excess of 50 years. She was a member of the Episcopal Church Women and served on many church committees. She was a member of the Junior League of Waco and served as president of the Junior League in 1949.

Alice was a tireless worker, from being a room mother to her children in elementary school to a den mother to her son’s Cub Scout pack. She was instrumental in getting Dr. Bryce Brown to “school” her son’s Bug Club meeting at Baylor’s Strecker Museum. That grew into schooling children in Waco in learning about the environment through a program that still exists today.

She was a member of the Colonial Dames of the United States and had the pleasure of taking tea at the White House twice with Nancy Reagan and once with Barbara Bush. Alice loved to travel and she traveled the world. Never one to just sit around, even at 90 years, while visiting her daughter in Wyoming, she took a whitewater rafting trip down the Snake River. Once while traveling in Ireland, she became impressed with the colorful front doors on the homes in the Irish countryside and upon returning to Waco had her front doors painted to serve as a reminder of Ireland.

For many years Alice was a member of “The Sewing Club,” a group of her friends and contemporaries, most of who have long since passed away. They met once a month at one another’s home and shared lunch. The thing that gave her children a chuckle was that there was never a stitch taken at “The Sewing Club.”

Alice was a great cook, her chicken spaghetti was “the gold standard.” But sometimes she didn’t wear her glasses. Once while having a family lunch, her grandson began perspiring heavily while eating a scalloped potato casserole. We later learned that she had sprinkled cayenne pepper, rather than paprika, as a garnish.

She was also a volunteer for the Providence Hospital Auxiliary.

She is survived by her son, David and wife, Patti; and daughter, Susan and husband, John Drew. Alice is also survived by nine grandchildren, four great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

All of her family and friends remember Alice as having the sweetest disposition. She was the most unselfish person, never having a harsh word. Alice was a lady’s lady. She set an example for all who knew her how to live with one another.

Her family is indebted to Uni Murphy and the staff of Lake Ridge Healthy Living for the compassionate care she received during her last illness.

Donations may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Waco. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our “Tribute Wall” at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Alice McNamara Harwell, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home

6101 Bosque Blvd.
Waco, TX 76710





2:00 PM
St. Paul's Episcopal Church

515 Columbus Avenue
Waco, TX 767101

There will be a reception at 12:30 p.m., in the Parrish Hall at St. Paul Episcopal Church, prior to the service.

Cemetery Details


Oakwood Cemetery

2124 S. 5th St.
Waco, TX 76706


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