David Paul Harrill passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 1, 2021, shortly after his 80th birthday. He was the third of four children of Fred and Elizabeth (McSpadden) Harrill of Madisonville, Tennessee. With his brother Joe Mac, and sisters Frederica and Ann, his childhood was filled with adventure and mischief. As legend has it, he kept a pet flying squirrel in his shirt pocket and once traded a BB gun and softball for a horse. After graduating from Madisonville High School in 1959, David attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. As an undergraduate, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity; he later earned a Master’s in Business Administration. His greatest achievement at UT was meeting the love of his life and wife of over 50 years, Laura (“Lolly”) Taylor. David's career with the federal government spanned five decades. He began his work in 1965 at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, continued through its transition to the Department of Energy, was promoted to Director of DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information, and consulted on many projects, including the hiring of air marshals in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. In retirement David engaged in his passion for the outdoors, particularly hiking and paddling. Together with Lolly he visited many Tennessee state parks and enjoyed classes through Experience Your Smokies. He shared his wisdom and love for canoeing and kayaking the waterways of East Tennessee with family, friends, and members of the community, including children from the Maryville Housing Authority. David long attended St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Maryville. His many hobbies included following UT athletics; serving as a faithful and long-suffering Cleveland Browns and Indians fan; reading; playing board games with his family; watching classic movies; and loving his family’s many dogs and one cat. He served on the boards of the Little River Watershed Association and the Blount County Boys and Girls Club, and volunteered with many community organizations, including Community Food Connection of Blount County and Meals on Wheels. He was particularly proud of the achievements of his children, Paul, a filmmaker and professor, and Beth Anne, an attorney. He is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Laura; his son Paul Harrill of Knoxville; daughter Beth Anne Harrill (Greg) of Decatur, Georgia; siblings Joseph McSpadden Harrill (Donna); Frederica Harrill; Ann Rogers (Gary); step-siblings Mike Wiggins (Donna); John Wiggins (Dana); Mary Love (Deborah); sister-in-law, Mary Anne Ebersole (Richard); nephews, Brent Harrill (Michelle); Gary Harrill (Dawn); Scott Rogers (Amy); Dr. Stephen Ebersole (Karen); nieces, Becky Puckett; Dr. Joy Drinnon (Shannon); godson, Erik White (Christina); multiple cousins, and treasured friends. The family wishes to express its love and gratitude to David’s caregivers, Mary Moore and Libby Brown. A memorial service will be held for friends and family at a later date in the fall. The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made in David’s name to Community Food Connection of Blount County (cfcblount.org/) or the Pat Summitt Foundation (www.patsummitt.org/).
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