The curtain has closed on a class act in town. The bigger-than-life personality of Richard “Dick” Eugene Harrison served and entertained the residents of Lewis County for 74 years and imprinted on the hearts and lives of family and friends far and wide.
On Saturday, September 2, 2017, he experienced a heart attack at his home and his exit was swift, which was a gift for him, yet bittersweet for the rest of us who will miss the man, the myth, the legend, who always knew how to make us laugh.
He signed on for this gig when he was born in Weston, on September 27, 1942, a son of the late Charles Thomas Harrison and Opal Swisher Harrison.
On December 28, 1964, he married Sandra Jean Smith and they celebrated 21 years of
marriage before her passing on July 1, 1986.
Then, on August 19, 1989, he married Kimberly Ann Dennison, who will dearly miss laughing with him everyday of their 28 years of marriage. (And it was just icing on the cake that he enjoyed shopping together).
His extensive collection of music, his sense of fashion and style, and his legacy as a true gentleman will be carried on by his son, Trent “Kiddo” Harrison and wife, Rhea, of Camden. He is also survived by his four siblings: Shirley Hall of Weston, James Harrison and wife, Cindy, of Homassa Springs, FL, Gary Harrison of Carlisle, PA, and Linda Pierpont of Baltimore, MD; one sister-in-law, Marlene Harrison of Richmond, VA; and several nieces and nephews.
As a huge sign-on bonus for this heaven gig, he will be reunited with his parents and five siblings: Joan Miles, Robert Harrison, Dorothy “Dottie” Garton, James Thomas Swisher, and infant brother, Jimmy Joe Harrison; and his best friend, loyal companion, and beloved Lhasa Apso, Ginger, who was always by his side.
Dick began building a strong work ethic at a young age, running a paper route, then working at the Camden and Hollywood Theater.
After graduating from Weston High School with the Class of 1960, Dick became an honored veteran of the United States Navy, having served during Vietnam aboard the USS Columbus and the USS Chevalier.
He worked as a production manager for WDTV5 and WBOY12, as a sales manager for the Weston Independent Newspaper, as a sales manager for American General Life Insurance Company, and later retired from the United States Postal Service with several years of service as a mail carrier and postmaster.
After retirement, he became our go-to DJ, entertainer, and showman who always had witty commentary to make any event fun and enjoyable. His love for singing karaoke was only matched by his love for sweet treats.
Dick embodied the meaning of civic responsibility. He was proud of his Lewis County roots, and he worked passionately to make it a better place to live.
He was a founding member of Lewis County First, and a member of Weston Rotary, VFW Post 1976, American Legion Post 4, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Weston and St. Boniface Catholic Church in Camden.
Dick was a street-smart conversationalist who also enjoyed playing softball, making home improvements, and hosting get-togethers at his house.
With his many accomplishments, he was especially proud of the time he led the Coons Pee-Wee baseball team to ultimate victory.
After many health scares over the years, he realized that his life was a gift that he’s now giving back. If a man’s life is measured by the lives that he has touched, then he will be called to the front of the line when he gets to heaven. “It’s okay Kiddo, everything’s going to be alright.”
Friends and family gathered at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Weston, from 4-7 p.m., on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. Funeral services followed at 7 p.m., with Father John Valentine officiating. Interment will be held at 1 p.m., on Wednesday, in the Weston Masonic Cemetery. Full military honors will be accorded by the United States Navy and the Lewis County Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Lewis County First at 171 W 2nd St., Weston, WV 26452.
The Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service, at 144 Hackers Creek Rd., in Jane Lew, is honored and privileged to serve the family of Richard “Dick” Eugene Harrison. Online condolences may be expressed at www.patboylefuneralhome.com.
P.S. When you walk past my casket, don’t forget to say, “Gee doesn’t he look nice!” =)