MILDRED (ALENE) MCNEILL MURRELL was born and reared in Jacksonville, Florida in a community called Spring Park, located south of the St. Johns River. She attended schools and colleges in that area and excelled in English composition and art. Later, she took courses at Florida Agricultural Mechanical University (FAMU), majoring in home economics.
Mrs. Murrell was married 49 years to the late Quincy Murrell and then widowed. She and her husband reared seven children as she also worked as a caterer and home decorator. In later years she changed careers, teaching home economics in the Adult Studies Department at Florida Community College of Jacksonville. In 1989 she retired after nineteen years of successful teaching. Encouraged by friends and family, Mrs. Murrell resumed some writing of poetry and short stories, some stories true and some fiction.
For many years Mrs. Murrell served and volunteered in a wide variety of civic, religious, and social activities; she has also chaired many offices within those organizations. Some of her church affiliations have included: Choir member I-II, Baptist Young Peoples Union (BYPU), Baptist Training Union (BTU) (director), Sunday school teacher, Youth Director, Vacation Bible School Director, Church Mother and a life-long member of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida.
In addition to all of this, now, at the age of 100, she has also completed 2 exciting and critically acclaimed books. One is a book about her famous relative, Zora Neale Hurston and another is a cookbook of original old style recipes. After so many years of service and so many accomplishments, she remains most proud of her family, her church and her continuing service to God.
Her parents were founding members of this church and she herself was born into this church over 100 years ago. She was baptized at the age of (11) eleven. I leave you with this simple math problem of addition and subtraction. So as I said, she is now 100 years old and she was 11 years old at baptism. 100 years old, minus 11 at baptism, equals 89 years of service that she has given to the church.
And so we proudly say to Mrs. Murrell, thank you, it has been a job “well done, thou good and faithful servant.”