Lorna Petty Harrell

October 17, 1947 - April 22, 2022

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Lorna Petty Harrell, 74, of Independence, Kentucky, passed away at home on Friday, April 22, 2022, as the result of metastatic breast cancer. Given her lifelong work on environmental projects, it was fitting that she passed on Earth Day. Lorna was born on October 17, 1947, in Covington to Charles and Helen (Schlipf) Petty, the owners and operators of the Latonia Bakery. She graduated from Dixie Heights High School in 1965 and attended college at Transylvania University and Miami University (Ohio), earning her degree in biology from the latter school with honors and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. After teaching biology at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, she was accepted for graduate study at the Laboratory of Limnology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She was the first woman to earn a Master's Degree from that laboratory. She returned to the Cincinnati area and married Dennis Harrell on October 7, 1972. They would have two children, Ryan Matthew in 1976 and Andrea (Wednesday) in 1979. Balancing her professional life and motherhood, Lorna began a career which she herself described as a patchwork quilt. She worked for several environmental consulting firms and taught biology at Northern Kentucky University. She worked for ten years as the Environmental Services Manager at the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, focusing much of her work on the Mill Creek Valley. She subsequently served in similar capacities for the Butler County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Environmental Resource Management Center at NKU. She capped her career as part of a team that did a five-year cumulative effects study on the entire length of the Ohio River - a detailed analysis for the Army Corps of Engineers addressing the impact of proposed navigational improvements through the year 2060. She retired in 2012. Lorna extended her interest in the environment to numerous civic groups. She served on the boards of the Kenton County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Boone County Arboretum, chairing both. She was also involved in the Banklick Watershed Council, Taking Root, and planning committees for the Taylor Mill Road and Independence Small Area studies. In 2017, she was named the Outstanding Forestry Leader by the Northern Kentucky Urban Forestry Council. Lorna attended Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati (serving on vestry) and Trinity Episcopal Church in Covington. She had a life-long love of music, playing the piano and singing for 20 years in the choirs of the above churches. She enjoyed traveling, hiking, reading, water skiing on her beloved Torch Lake, and spending time with her young grandchildren. She had an infectious laugh and saw the best in everyone. Surviving Lorna are her husband Dennis; children Ryan (Jennifer Czarnecki) Harrell of Akron, Ohio, and Andrea Wednesday (Scotty) Wood of Cincinnati; grandchildren Desi Wood, and Elliott and Merritt Harrell; brother Gary (Lyn) Petty of Bellaire, Michigan; and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, step-mother Mamie Miles Petty, and older brother Douglas Petty. Services are scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 326 Madison Avenue, Covington, Kentucky. A reception will follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lorna's memory are encouraged to the Trinity Church Music Fund, or to the Boone County Arboretum, 9190 Camp Ernst Road, Union Kentucky, 41091. Online condolences may be expressed on Facebook or at www.connleybrothersfuneralhome.com


Mike and Joan Klahr - May 20, 2022
We are deeply saddened to learn of Lorna’s passing. She was a powerful influence in the community. She will be missed greatly. The world is a better place because of her passion and involvement serving others. May Lorna’s Soul Rest In Peace!
Ruth Ann Streable Driggers - May 19, 2022
I am so saddened to hear about the recent loss of Lorna. She was my first roommate at Transylvania and we weathered a roller coaster freshman year in college together. Lorna was a trusted, lifelong friend who faithfully kept in touch all these years. She was an intelligent, wonderful friend and an outstanding trailblazer in her occupational field. I will miss her greatly but heaven has gained a beautiful addition. My prayers are with Dennis,Ryan,Andrea,Gary and family. Lorna\'s greatest love and pride was always her family.
Deborah Miles - May 19, 2022
Dennis, Gary, Lyn and families, my deepest sympathy for your loss. Lorna holds a special place in my heart and I am blessed to have been part of your extended family. She was a fiercely strong, loving, giving, gracious and modest woman. Lorna always made everyone feel welcome in her company and was genuinely interested in others lives. I’ll miss our conversations and the time we spent together. My prayers are with you.
Chris and Steve Sturgil - May 15, 2022
Dennis, We are so sorry about our dear friend, Lorna. She has been such a great friend to us both over the years...Steve, since grade school and high school. Me, for twenty years as part of the Dixie Chicks. We have enjoyed many fun times over the years. Lorna loved dining at the Met Club and we made it a tradition every Christmas Eve these past few years. She was always so sweet and kind and caring. I'm so glad I was able to spend some time with her just a couple weeks before she passed. We will all miss her dearly. Hugs and love go out to you.
Marcelle Miles - May 14, 2022
Lorna, you were always so kind and easy to talk to. We enjoyed your visits and calls. You were great at making people feel heard. I wish we had had more time together. Dennis, Ryan and Wednesday and grandkids: What an interesting and loving person Lorna was. She was a leader and trailblazer for other women and so well-rounded with her many activities and causes. We are so very sorry for your loss.
Steve Sturgil - May 8, 2022
From the young girl I met in the 4th grade at Taylor Mill, listening and sharing stories, to the girl who attended Dixie and worked the Newspaper staff with me, and Miss HigaGiga, who played in Teahouse, I smile when I think of you. Though I left the area for over 20 years, when I came back we started right where we left off....friends. Every Christmas it was a given we, my wife Chris and you and Dennis would have Christmas Eve dinner together somewhere. Lorna, may you rest young lady, you were one of my favorite people.
Roxanne Qualls - May 6, 2022
Dennis, I am very sad to hear of Lorna's death. I remember first meeting her at OKI where her poise, intelligence and knowledge made an invaluable contribution to many of the presentations and discussions. She was one of the kindest and most gracious women I have ever had the blessing to know. Her memory is a blessing.
Holly and Bruce Halcomb - May 6, 2022
Dear Dennis and family, We are heartbroken to hear of Lorna’s passing. She was a faithful friend to many SWCD’s. I also considered her a dear friend. Although skilled on environmental issues, her greatest joy was her children and grandchildren! How she loved to talk about them! We will miss her very much but we know she is resting in our Lord’s arms. May your sweet memories comfort you.
Reggie Victor - May 3, 2022
Dennis and family. I am so sorry to hear of Lorna's death. She was such a good friend and will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family
Jennie Arnold - May 1, 2022
Lorna was first a work colleague, and then a friend. Our family enjoyed the kindness and thoughtfulness that Lorna extended to us over the years. We are so very sorry for your loss. --Joey Van Skaik and Jennie Arnold
Todd and Holly Carpenter - May 1, 2022
The Harrells were our neighbors for many years and Lorna's father was our neighbor for a few years before he passed. So sad to hear this knowing that they attended both my daughter's weddings and hoping to invite them to my son's next year. Prayers for Dennis and their family.
Rita Wynn - Apr 30, 2022
Dennis and Family, I am so very sorry for your loss. Lorna was one of my best friends. She was such a thoughtful and caring person. She will certainly be missed. You are all in my prayers. Take care and God bless.
Ann Kummer - Apr 29, 2022
Dennis, Gary, and Lyn, We were so sorry to hear of Lorna's passing. We always thought she was such a nice person! You are in our thoughts.
Dick Maile - Apr 25, 2022
Dennis and Family, I offfer you my deepest sympathy and prayers on the passing of Lorna. I feel our business together extended into a friendship. Lorna was a beautiful person to know and share the journey. May you be consoled with the faith that Lorna is in the loving arms of our awesome God. You are in my prayers. Dick
Lynn Demi - Apr 25, 2022
Dennis, Ryan & Andrea, I have a heavy heart at the loss of my special & long time friend, Lorna. We go back to the early 80's when we took a parenting class together at Hinsdale Elementary in Edgewood. Our daughters took dancing at the Edgewood firehouse & I still cherish the pictures of us at the recitals. Memories of Derby parties & keeping in touch even after I moved back to TN. Once I was back in KY, we reconnected at Arboretum events. Heaven has gained a new angel & one who left this world a better place for all who knew her & cherished her friendship.
Michelle Botta Ryder - Apr 25, 2022
Though I did not Lorna well, she always had a smile for me and asked how I was doing. Not the kind of sentiment just said in passing. She would pause and actually wait to see what you were going to answer. She was a very nice person and I am sad that I did not get to know her better.
David Koester - Apr 25, 2022
I feel privileged to have known and worked with Lorna for over 30 years. She was a remarkable person. Her passion for conservation, the environment and trees was legendary. She has left a legacy for all of us to try to emulate
Kristopher A Stone - Apr 25, 2022
Lorna's friends on the Board of Friends of Boone County Arboretum, and the Arboretum staff are very sad to learn of the passing of Lorna. She was a wonderful champion of the Arboretum and its staff. She will be forever missed by all whose lives she touched.
Linda Connley Cameron - Apr 24, 2022
My deepest sympathy to the Harrell and Petty families. I feel like Lorna, her brothers and her Mom and Dad were always close to my family growing up. May the angels take sweet Lorna to Paradise. God bless.
Nancy Frakes - Apr 24, 2022
My thoughts and prayers go out to Dennis and the rest of the family. She was a special friend for many years. God, be with her.
Margo and Lawrence Bowman - Apr 24, 2022
We are saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Lorna. Our prayers and thoughts are extended to Dennis and to all members in the family. Margo and Larry
Betsy Connell - Apr 24, 2022
Dennis, Gary, Lyn, and the rest of the family, we are sorry for Lorna’s struggles and passing. She was such a vibrant and active woman and will be missed among her family, friends, and community. Our thoughts are with you. Betsy and Peter Connell
Sue and Neil Heighberger - Apr 24, 2022
We were so sorry to hear of Lorna’s death. We shared many good times. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Holly and Ceci Pratt - Apr 24, 2022
Dennis and family, are hearts are with you.
Connie Sanders - Apr 23, 2022
I am so very sad to learn of Lorna’s passing. My thoughts are with Dennis and their children and grandchildren. Lorna was such a good friend.

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