Richard “Dick” Eugene Harrison, a lifelong Lewis County resident with an extensive history of community involvement, passed away Saturday, Sept. 2; he was 74.
Harrison graduated from Weston High School in 1960, and went on to serve honorably in the United States Navy during Vietnam.
Harrison went on to work as a production manager at both WDTV and WBOY, as well as a stint as sales manager for American General Life Insurance Company and retired from the United States Postal Service after several years of service as a mail carrier and postmaster.
Bill Adler, a member of Lewis County First, said he has known Harrison for over 15 years. He relayed the story of how Harrison turned down a job offer early in his television career that would have had him move to Philadelphia to work on a then unnamed show that was to be hosted by Dick Clark. That show went on be named American Bandstand.
Adler added that Harrison, when reflecting on the decision, did not regret his choice, because if he had taken the job, he never would have met his wife, Kim.
Harrison had a long history of community service and was a founding member of Lewis County First, he was also a member of Rotary, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1976.
“Dick cared greatly about his community,” Adler said, adding that Harrison was “always involved.”
Ray Smith, the Lewis County First chairman, also remembered Harrison as very active in the community and always willing to donate his services as a DJ.
Lewis County resident John Breen had nothing but fond memories of Harrison to share.
“Words can’t express how I feel about the loss of Dick,” he said.
Breen added that he and Harrison had shared many jokes over the years. Both he and others who knew Harrison reflected on how he volunteered his entertainment services for different organizations throughout Lewis County.
Debbie Garrett, the president of the Jackson’s Mill Jubilee, noted that Harrison had volunteered to man the gate at the Jubilee on Friday, Sept. 1, with other members of Lewis County First. Harrison spent his last evening before his passing serving his community.
“Dick was a wonderful asset to our county as well as having a great sense of humor and great smile,” said Betty Brooks, a Weston-Central Neighborhood Watch member and an organizer for National Night Out. “He dedicated his time for volunteerism, to be there no matter what needed to be done.
“Also [he was] an upbeat type of person you want to be around. Every time he played music with Billy, my husband, he would announce Billy’s name and dedicate “Wipeout” for him to do the Watusi,” she continued.
“Dick and his wife Kim loved life to the fullest. His music during the parades had people dancing in the streets. When you would see Dick you knew the ‘happy dance’ was about to begin. He was a great DJ for our parties and class reunions, squad dances, National Night Out, etc. Dick, you will be greatly missed,” Brooks continued.
Commissioner Rod Wyman
reflected on the passing of Harrison.
“He truly loved his wife and son,” Wyman said. “He was absolutely a good asset to everything he was involved in, from LC First to Rotary, to the Senior Center.”
“I don’t care what it was, he gave everything he had. He was always there when you needed him—just a good man. I will miss him,” he continued.
“He was a Lewis Countian through and through,” said Garrett, going to say he would be missed greatly by, not only his family and loved ones, but by the community as a whole.
Harrison’s Obituary can be read in full here.