Obituary for James Harrison Jr.
James “Sonny” Vardaman Harrison, Jr., 87 year old seasoned citizen from Oakland, and previously from Memphis and Pickwick Lake, passed peacefully at home on April 18, 2017. He was an Athlete, Salesman, Army Ranger in the Special Forces, Husband, Father and Grandfather. Sonny was born Wednesday, October 30, 1929. The front page of the New York Times exclaimed the massive loss on Wall Street from Black Tuesday, but there was a glimmer of hope on Wednesday the day Dad was born. Sonny Harrison was always a glimmer of hope even during the Depression. My Grandmother said Dad walked before he crawled. He was an outstanding athlete and All Memphis at Southside High School in football, baseball and basketball. One Commercial Appeal article called him a “Triple Threat”. Dad was a glimmer of hope when he played 2 years in a row at Crump Stadium in the Blind Benefit Bowl for the sightless. He even excelled in the Army in football in Special Troops (as well as Ranger training), and was able to dine with famous athletes of the day in the mountains of Austria. Dad was stationed in Germany. He even played touch football with a young Elvis Presley when he returned from overseas. He later excelled in golf and made four hole in ones! One hole in one at Bevico Country Club and three hole in ones at Pickwick Landing Golf Course. The love of his life was Irma Carolyn Cox Harrison (12-22-32 -- 11-16-2012). Dad said she was nice and sweet and that never changed. They met at Rainbow, a popular swimming attraction, and honeymooned in New Orleans. They were together for over 60 years. They had three precious children and retired and grew old together at Pickwick Lake after building a comfortable home in the woods. They overcame many obstacles, illnesses, and pain including the death of their youngest son, Timothy Joseph Harrison (6-4-62 --- 12-5-1979). Dad was a glimmer of hope as a salesman for Mid-South Oxygen Co. in its infancy (later NexAir) and had major companies as customers such as Dupont and Firestone. He made a good honest living. He traveled three states and was basically his own boss because he said, “I could sell.” Yes, a glimmer of hope – always smiling and positive. A strong, smart, tough, man with a loving heart. He was a member of Faith United Methodist Church. He will be missed. Dad leaves behind his son, Jeffery Vardaman Harrison, a daughter Deborah Lynn Harrison Meek, and two grandchildren, Andrew Edgar Meek and Ellen Audra Meek, and a sister Minette Harrison. Rest in peace and continue to be a glimmer of hope in heaven. Visitation will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 25 until service begins at 11:30 a.m. at Forest Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park, East. Interment will follow at 1:15 p.m. at West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery. A big thank you to the nurses at Intrepid Health Care, Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare Hospice Team – Mary, Sandra, and Mark and the All-Pro Home Care.
Forest Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park, East