Benjamin Franklin Harrell, III, of Safford and owner of Safford Soul Food Connection, entered into rest Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at his residence. Junior was 62.
Benjamin Franklin Harrell, III, was born to Benjamin Franklin Harrell, Jr., and Helen Marie Harrell on September 22, 1959, in Phoenix, Arizona. He is their first born child and only son.
Benjamin, early in his life showed that he was blessed with a creative side and had many natural talents. He was not short in talents and gifts: in Junior High, he attempted to create a computer and he self-learned how to play the guitar and with his sisters, Rosanna and Deborah, he would hold performances in the neighborhood and people would actually pay to attend!
Benjamin had a competitive spirit and he always strived to be and have the best...no normal for him! In his teenage years, he had a love for cars and would spend countless hours personalizing his car so that it would stand out from others. His first car, he personalized with a real rabbit fur dashboard, but it was short lived as the family dog ate it. His father, the late Benjamin Franklin Harrell, Jr., and mother, Helen Harrell, would regularly take him to church and in his life journey, he made the decision to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior and was baptized.
He was a man of deep conviction and thought, he experienced the ups and down in life and came to the decision to allow only a few people into his life circle. So, if you knew Ben personally, it was because he chose to let you in. One of those special people is Tim Brown, he remained a loyal friend to Ben until the end. Another special person is Sandra Hayes and from that relationship his heart grow 2 sizes larger when his twin daughters, Keisha and Kayla Hayes, were born. As with everything else, Ben strived to be the best father to his daughters.
Gleaning from his special moments with his father, he shared his love for fishing, camping, cars and cooking. It was cooking that broadend his life circle even more and he is known to most as “Safford Soul Food Connection” cooking everything from ribs, brisket, turkeys and making his famous barbeque sauce. As with everything else in his life he strived to be the best at cooking and won many 1st place awards and was even highlighted in the Safford newspaper. We fondly call him the “Pit Master” as his creative nature caused him to create, with his own hands, an impressive grill named “Alice” named after his late Aunt Alice Moore. He also renovated an old Holsum bread truck and painted it fire engine red and put his special flame design on it. In his later years, pulling from the skills of his father, he mastered being able to fix cars and utilized this craft by working for Kempton.
He leaves to celebrate his life and hold memories of his love and unique personality: his mother, Helen M. Harrell; children, Keisha and Kayla Hayes; siblings, Rosanna Harrell and Deborah Harrell Johnson (Preston); niece, TraNisha Robinette (Michael); nephews, Gordon Donnell Clark (Amanda), Preston Johnson, III and Cornell Johnson; and a host of cousins.
Private family funeral services for Junior will be conducted Saturday, February 5, 2022, at the Vining Funeral Home. Concluding services will follow in the Safford Cemetery.
Family will receive friends for a public viewing Saturday, February 5, 2022, from 1:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m., at the Vining Funeral Home.