Martha Van McRady Harwell

Callaway, 87, died on November 19, 2021, in Maryville, Tennessee. The daughter of the late Dr.and Mrs James Van McRady (Martha Virginia Cannon) of Fayetteville, TN, she was born in Nashville and grew up in Fayetteville, graduating from Central High School in 1952. She attended Vanderbilt University, serving a year as Treasurer of the Women’s Student Government Association. In 1955 she married a Fayetteville native, Dr Valton Carden Harwell, a Vanderbilt Medical School graduate, and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was in his internship. Following came the years of Navy duty, living at Camp LeJeune, Pensacola Naval Air Station, and Washington, D.C., followed by residency training in obstetrics and gynecology in Atlanta. They moved to Columbia, TN in 1961. In Columbia, Van was a member of St Peter’s Episcopal Church, long time member of the flower guild, James K. Polk Memorial Association, the MCMSA Book Club and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra League. She was an early advocate in the move to establish recycling in Columbia. She loved her family, her friends, reading, gardening, traveling and hiking. Dr Harwell died in 2005, two months after their 50th anniversary. Van was also preceded in death by her daughter, Mary Jennifer Harwell, of Columbia. She is survived by three children, Lisa Van Harwell, of Knoxville, TN, David Carden Harwell (Bessie), of Huntsville, AL, Susan Harwell Riley (Bill), of Columbia, TN and three grandchildren, William Harwell Johnston (USAF), Jessica Elizabeth Johnston, Columbia, and Tyler McRady Harwell of Knoxville, TN. She is also survived by a sister, Alice McRady Thomas (Larry) of Richmond, VA. Following Dr. Harwell’s death Van met Dr. James Miller Callaway, who survives her. Also a Vanderbilt Medical School graduate, he was the brother of an old friend. Van and Jim quickly discovered a wealth of shared ideals and attitudes as well as coincidentally shared experiences through the years although they had never met. They married on June 3, 2006, at St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Columbia followed by a move to his hometown, Maryville, TN. This late life joy brought with it many new friends, interests, and activities. It also presented new opportunities for continuing to hike in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In Maryville she was a member of the Makemie Geneva Fellowship of New Providence Presbyterian Church, the Maryville Book Club, Friends of the Smokies, Experience Your Smokies, and the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center. Funeral services will be at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville, TN on November 27 at 11:00 am. The family will receive friends after the service. For those who are fully vaccinated, masks are not required but highly recommended, especially while singing. Masks are required for those who are not fully vaccinated. Visitation with family and friends in Columbia will take place at St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Columbia, TN on December 5 from 2:00-4:00 pm in the Parish Hall. Memorials are suggested to St Peter’s Prayer Garden Fund, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, 311 West 7th St., Columbia, TN, 38401; the James K Polk Presidential Hall Fund, James K Polk Ancestral Home, 303 W. 7th St., Columbia, TN; CASA of Maury County (a children’s advocacy fund) at 22 Public Square, Columbia, TN 38401; and to the Welcome Table Fund at New Providence Presbyterian Church, 703 West Broadway, Maryville, TN 37801. The family expresses much gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff at Shannondale retirement community for their thoughtful and professional care.

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