Dawn Christina (Duncan) Harrell
Harrell, Dawn Christina (nee Duncan) 48, of Minneapolis died of pancreas cancer on Easter Sunday (April 21, 2019). Dawn was a passionate writer and story-teller, a brilliant teacher, a powerful preacher and a bright, penetrating and loyal presence to those who knew her. She deeply adored her daughter, Violet, her husband, Daniel, her family and friends with uncompromising intensity. We are bereft. Born in Boston, Dawn lived in South Dakota, Portugal, Italy and Angola before returning to the US. She lived her faith unswervingly, acknowledged the darkness of this world without feeding it, practiced gratitude and forgiveness and regarded truth in God as her sacred ground.
Dawn was born in Boston and soon moved with her family to Italy where her father studied medicine. Once her family returned to the States, they eventually moved to South Dakota where her father served among Native Americans as a doctor. Called to practice medicine in Angola, Dawn's family relocated in 1982 and remained in Angola for the next 18 years. Dawn returned to the United States in 1985 to attend high school in North Carolina (Ben Lippen), and then Houghton College. After pursuing an interest in medicine herself, she eventually directed her sights toward theological education, enrolling at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary where she attained a Masters of Divinity. From there Dawn went on to work as an editor for Hendrickson Publishing, all the while writing and teaching and leading in various capacities, both in Boston and abroad.
Dawn met Daniel Harrell as a student in one of her seminary classes, but then much later once she became an intern at Park Street Church in Boston. Dawn and Daniel experienced a winding road of a courtship before Daniel finally came to his senses and asked Dawn to be his wife and grow old with him. They married in 2003 at the First Congregational Church, Swampscott, MA and set up house in South Boston.
Their life together was full of conversation and travel, passion and perambulation (we loved to walk everywhere), hiking and biking and eating and wine and theological discussion and music and driving each other crazy with our particularities and preferences. Daniel is an Enneagram 3 and Dawn was an 8 (relational roadkill according to the specialists). But the tensions made for uncompromising love. The chasm she leaves is fathoms deep.
After months of trying to get pregnant, and the clocks ticking because of my age--Dawn got pregnant with Violet who was born in October 2007 right after the Red Sox won their second World Series of this century's four. Violet inherited Dawn's gorgeous eyes and our combined personalities, the best of ourselves together.
In 2010, Dawn relocated to Minneapolis with Daniel and Violet and soon began writing a series of dragon fairy tales, on the heels of her well received book on prayer entitled Ten Ways to Pray. She was working diligently on three novels about vampires when she got pancreas cancer and died.
Dawn is survived by her husband, Daniel; daughter, Violet; her parents, Steve and Marcia Duncan, and her sisters, Heidi, Kimberly and Stephanie Duncan. Funeral to be held on Saturday, April 27, 11AM at Colonial Church, Edina, MN. 952-925-2711 Memorials to United World Mission (ideasworld.org) to support Gustavo and Rochelle Karakey and theological education in Colombia; or to Ideas (ideasworld.org) to support Kimberly Duncan and agricultural development in North Africa. Washburn-McReavy.com Edina Chapel 952-920-3996
Published on April 24, 2019
Star Tribune reviews all guest book entries to ensure appropriate content.
Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling. FAQ