Sixty years ago, on June 14, 1957, at the Immanuel Baptist Church in Rogers, Arkansas, Harrell Glenn Miller and Janice Doreen Skelton were married. Both grew up in Rogers although Jan was born 20 miles down the road in Fayetteville.
Their families attended the same church; they dated in high school and wound up together at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. They were married two weeks after Harrell graduated and was commissioned in the United States Air Force. Jan graduated the following year.
Air Force assignments took them to Del Rio, Texas, and Laon, France.
In 1960 they came to the Bay Area, where Harrell attended Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley and Jan taught seventh grade Social Studies at Kenilworth Junior High School in Petaluma.
They moved to Napa in 1963, when Harrell became the pastor of the Redwood Baptist Church on Redwood Road, a position he would hold for the next 23 years.
Daughter Margaret Elizabeth was born in Petaluma and son Matthew Harrell in Napa. Jan was a stay-at-home, very involved mom until the children finished school.
In 1969, Harrell went to work for the Napa Valley Unified School District, adding teaching and administrating to his responsibilities at the church.
In 1986, both joined the First Presbyterian Church of Napa, where Jan eventually became the director of the Presbyterian Day School and Harrell a Parish Associate.
Harrell retired twice from Napa Valley Unified, once in 1995 following 15 years as principal of Redwood Middle School and again in 2003 after three years as principal of Vintage High School. Early in his NVUSD career he had been teacher and teaching-principal at Temescal High School.
Following Harrell’s retirements, they spent parts of five years happily RVing around the USA, finally settling down to 12 winters in Arizona.
During their time in Napa, Jan has been a 40-year member of Community Projects and Harrell a 50-year member of the Rotary Club of Napa.
Fifty-four of their 60 married years have been in Napa which they are quick to say has been one of the best parts of the trip.
“We love Northwest Arkansas, but when we are asked where we are from, the Napa Valley is a pretty classy answer,” Harrell said.