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Harnethia N. Mansell

May 2, 1929 ~ March 24, 2022 (age 92)


Harnethia Naomi Mansell


Harnethia was born to Julia & William Johnson on May 2, 1929 in Timmonsville S.C., where she grew up to attend Brockington High School and faithfully attended Cheney Grove Baptist Church.  After graduation, she attended Benedict College pursuing her degree in education, and met Clarence Columbus Mansell in the first few days of school.  Upon graduation in 1951, Clarence asked for Harnethia’s hand in marriage.  


Devotion to her husband, seven sons, family, and community service through education, became a lifelong calling in service to God and a labor of love.  Harnethia traveled by her husband’s side during his service in the United States Air Force for 27 years. During this time, she worked as a teacher at Department of Defense and private schools in the Philippines, France, Maine, Alabama, Nebraska, Washington D.C., South Carolina, and California.  She used her exemplary international teaching experience and knowledge to impact students’ lives globally.  Staying true to her calling, after settling in Moreno Valley, she established the Diagnostic Clinical Laboratory School (DCLS) in Moreno Valley. At DCLS, she developed an unsurpassed curriculum for student learning, to include non-English speaking adults, blessing them with the knowledge and wisdom to better themselves and their family’s lives.  Harnethia also taught English and writing skills to inmates in the Chino Department of Corrections facility to help prepare them for life after incarceration. No matter who you were, Harnethia would pour her whole heart into you, and there are so many stories to be told.     


Harnethia went on to receive an advanced degree, a Master’s in Educational Administration from Pepperdine University, to further enhance her professional skills.  In 1973 she founded the Cultural Heritage Performers, a volunteer supported organization assisting underprivileged youth.  The organization invited performing arts professionals (dance, vocal, actors, artists, martial artists, etc.) from across the region to instruct youth and provide additional perspectives on life.  Harnethia, through her organization produced theatrical productions, established the annual International Tea Ceremony, and yearly Moreno Valley International Holiday Parade & Festival.  These events impacted the lives of so many youths, a great moment of self-confidence and pride in their accomplishment of building floats and organizing such momentous events.  The Cultural Heritage Performers motto is Education, Awareness, Appreciation – We Spread Love.


Harnethia’s vision for community service was strategic and multifaceted, opening the Cultural Heritage Performers Thrift Store, to support the organization’s youth activities. The thrift store not only assisted youth, but was a resource to those in need, and became a respite for many seeking comforting conversations and fellowship.  Harnethia also produced a radio program which ran for numerous years in the wee hours of the night, teaching the word of God.  Truck drivers would contact her, thanking her for the hope and inspiration she provided in their lives.  Harnethia was integral to establishing the local chapter of National Council of Negro Women and was a member of the Golden Seniors and Edgemont Women’s Club. She understood the importance of empowerment, ensuring others had opportunities to use their free will in the service of God.  Harnethia was a faithful member of the Liberty Baptist Church.  Other community engagement included serving as a consultant to the Moreno Valley & Riverside Bilingual Committee and Chamber of Commerce activities.


Harnethia was preceded by her parents Julia and William Johnson, husband Clarence Sr., sons Clarence Jr. and LaMond, and granddaughter Harnethia (Nia) Mansell, her brother Leroy F. Johnson, and sister Dorothy Kendall.  She is survived by her sister Hallie Dixon, sister in-laws Doris Johnson, Joanne Ashmore and Veronica Winston, five sons and daughters in-law; Selwyn & Mona, James & Ann, Patrice, Pascal & Rhoda and Bruce & Elena, Debbie, Margaret, and Tina Mansell, her niece and husband Fostena & Robert Squirewell, nephew and wife Anthony & Sandra Johnson, adopted spiritual sons and daughters, Dominique Ferguson, George & Kathy Stewart and Larry Birts, grand and great grandchildren, and a plethora of loving family and friends. 


Harnethia Naomi Mansell’s actions and deeds bent the arc of life for so many towards God’s divine plan of love and unity.  We are proud of her, and the tenacity of a life well lived.  Mother, we love you so much and your presence will always be with us all. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Harnethia N. Mansell, please visit our floral store.


April 19, 2022

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Tillman Riverside Mortuary Chapel
2874 10th St.
Riverside, CA 92507

Funeral Service
April 20, 2022

11:00 AM
Liberty Baptist Church
13630 Edgemont St.
Moreno Valley, CA 92553

April 20, 2022

1:00 PM
Riverside National Cemetery
22495 Van Buren Blvd
Riverside, California 92518

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