Chism, Harrell Weston, 92, went to his heavenly home peacefully on June 19, 2020 in Irving, Texas.
Harrell Weston Chism was born on March 17, 1928, in the Longtaw community of Delta County, Texas, to John Ernest and Vera Gladys (McGraw) Chism. Growing up on the farm in a loving Christian home instilled hard-work in him.
Harrell graduated from Cooper High School in Cooper, Texas, Class of 1945, he went on to East Texas State University earning his BBA in Business. Harrell received his Master’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Texas.
He began a teaching career in Kerrville, Texas, at Tivey High School until the Korean Conflict broke out. Harrell served in the US Army in the 5th Infantry Division. Upon coming home from Korea, Harrell went on to begin his 65 year career in funeral service by attending Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Dallas graduating in 1955. He worked for Ed C. Smith & Bros. Funeral Home-Dallas, Sparkman Funeral Home-Dallas, and Frye & Gibbs Funeral Home-Paris, Texas. He was co-owner of McDonald Funeral Home in Cooper, Texas, with his former in-laws. In 1964, Harrell made the move to Irving and started working for Mrs. R.V. Leach at Irving’s original funeral home Leach Funeral Home. In June 1966, Harrell and Edward G. Smith purchased the funeral home from Mrs. R.V. Leach to begin serving the community of Irving for over 30 years as Chism & Smith Funeral Home.
Harrell was involved in numerous fraternal organizations: (65 year Mason) current member of Irving Masonic Lodge #1218 A.F.&A.M.; former member of Delta Lodge #1240 A.F.&A.M., where he served as Master of the Lodge, received the Masonic of the Year Award in 1959-60; member of Hella Temple Shrine, where he served as 1st Commander Flying Fezzes, he was one of the four original organizers; Irving Shrine Club, he served as 2nd President and current Chaplain; and other Masonic Affiliations: Scottish Rite Temple Valley of Dallas (55 year member),York Rite Bodies, Chapter Council and Commandery, Life Member of the Royal Order of Scotland (50 year member).
Harrell’s involvement in civic organizations included: Member of Plymouth Park Baptist Church for the past 32 years; was active with Lions Club International for 60 years serving in the Irving Noon Day Lions Club since 1964; Past President of Dallas County Funeral Directors Association; and was the Dallas County Representative on a legislative committee to monitor the Texas Legislature concerning Funeral Service in Texas from 1977-78.
Over the years, Harrell was awarded numerous honors for his service: DCFDA Funeral Director of the year in 1995; Bent Prop Award for Flying Fezzes (Hella Shrine Club); Director of the Year for Irving Shrine Club; TFDA 65 Year Licensee; and TFDA North Texas Chapter Ed C. Smith Award 2015. The accomplishments he was proudest of: being able to help organize the Flying Fezzes, which was the first flying unit of Hella Temple and the first flying unit in Texas Orient of Shrinedom (The Flying Fezzes main job was to fly children afflicted with burns and orthopedic concerns from the D/FW metroplex to Shriners Burn Institute in Galveston or to the Shriners Orthopedic Hospital in Houston.); in 1997 he attended lodge with dignitaries from over 30 countries in Edinburg, Scotland, by invitation of the Royal Order of Scotland; and the love and support he always had from his wife and children.
At the age of 92, Harrell passed away in Irving, Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Glen Chism; and sister, Margie Mohler. He leaves to continue his legacy: his wife of 56 years, Dixie Pratt Chism of Irving, Texas; daughter, Charlotte Chism Waldrum of Irving, Texas; sons, Joe Woods and wife, Mary Jim, and James Woods and wife, Linda, all of Emory, Texas; 7 grandchildren, Stephanie Crocker, Tina Woods, Laura Sanderson, Angela Startz, Kimberly Douglas, Emily Bevan and Corey Waldrum; 13 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; brother, John Chism of Irving, Texas; and numerous other relatives, colleagues and friends.
The family will receive friends on Monday, June 22, 2020 from 6-8:00PM at Forest Ridge Funeral Home, 8525 Mid-Cities Blvd., North Richland Hills, TX 76182.
A private family service will be held at Plymouth Park Baptist Church.
Masonic Gravesite rites will be held on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 at approximately 2:30PM at Oak Grove Memorial Gardens, Irving, Texas.
The family request in lieu of flowers for memorials to be made to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, 2222 Welborn St., Dallas, TX 75219, https://scottishriteforchildren.org/ or Shriners Hospital for Children of Galveston, 815 Market St., Galveston, TX 77550 https://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/galveston
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Texas Scottish Rite Hospital
2222 Welborn Street, Dallas TX 75219
Shriner's Hospital for Children of Galveston
815 Market Street, Galveston TX 77550