Life: In loving memory
A bright light - a radiant soul
Carrie Jo Harwell - "CJ" was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on July 20, 1978 to Richard and Eloise Harwell.
CJ attended Scared Heart and Transfiguration (for 7th grade) Elementary and Grade Schools, then graduated from Tartan High School in 1996. She then entered the Air Force and after discharge attended Globe College.
CJ is survived by her father, Richard (Connie) Harwell of Hastings, MN and step-brother Chris (Kristy) of Hudson, WI. CJ was preceded in death by her mother, Eloise, sister Trista, step-brother Brad, and grandparents Joe, Sylvia and Dorothy Stewart.
She married Paul in 2012, and although divorced, their partnership grew many loving relationships with each other's families and friends.
Full life - full of life
43 years doesn't seem long enough, but CJ lived a full and fun life; she worked hard, laughed hard, and loved hard.
CJ was a beauty - inside and out - hysterically funny, highly energetic, keenly mischievous, insanely smart, fun-loving, and on top of it all, a very kind person. She was magnetic.
Everyone who knew CJ, knows she loved spending time with her friends. Whether it be sipping hot tea and crocheting, drinking beers at a dive bar, supporting them with events, or getting dolled up and going out to dinner, CJ was always up for spending time with the people she loved.
CJ was very crafty. She would sew, knit, crochet and even got into creating diorama room boxes. She enjoyed cooking and entertaining. She used those talents to not only make gifts for loved ones but to throw one hell of a party - especially many memorable Christmas parties. She enjoyed games, movies (especially old 80s and 90s), and murder mysteries. And what a music lover!
She adored her cat Lourdes (aka. "Dooker") and dogs, Nikko, Tonka, and Alfie. Her love for animals also led to her volunteer work with Pet Haven of MN.
Travel was an important part of her life. She traveled often for work and pleasure. She recently moved to New Orleans, LA as a new adventure. It was a place that she enjoyed for the history, food, and upbeat atmosphere.
CJ was in a good place in her life. In fact, she was in a new, long distant relationship with Fiachra, and they had plans for him to join her in NOLA. Until the very last night of her life, she was out with friends making memories. She died unexpectedly, in her sleep, on September 26, 2021.
She will be missed by many.
If she knew you, she loved you... and you knew it.
CJ got her start in technology as an IT Support Specialist helping customers troubleshoot hardware and software issues. In 2003, CJ was given the opportunity to transition into IT Staffing Sales & Recruitment, when she joined Sapphire Technologies.
For the next 7 years she excelled in her field, ultimately resulting in being referred to Arrow Electronics, where she was hired to support a $140 million Dell/EMC book of business. CJ spent the next 9 years climbing the ladder at Arrow, eventually managing 12 Sales Representatives and collectively responsible for $1.25 billion in Dell EMC market share.
In 2018, CJ decided to experience life working in the tech startup space, where she spent a few years at Mimecast and Ground Labs. In 2020, CJ returned to her roots when joining Tech Data as Director of Field Dell EMC Technologies.
CJ had a ferocious appetite for achievement. In the Channel & Distribution space, she was the ultimate connector of people. CJ emanated the definition of "go big or go home" and if she was going to do it, it would be done right the first time.