Published by The Daily Local from January 17 to January 18, 2022.
James Harrison Obituary (2022) – Rose Valley, PA
Dr. James Pennock Harrison, Jr. of Rose Valley, PA and Seabrook Island, SC, died at the age of 95 on January 14, 2022 of natural causes. Born December 28, 1926, in the old Coatesville Hospital, he lived his last days at Harrison House of Chester County, an assisted living community founded by him and his wife, Katherine S. Harrison, after purchasing the site of the ‘hospital. Dr. Harrison was predeceased by his parents, James P. and Blanche Carlin Harrison, his brother and sister-in-law Harry Francis and Phyllis Bond Harrison, and his wife of 63 years, Katherine Shockley Harrison. Originally from his beloved Christiana, Pennsylvania, he attended Christiana Elementary School and graduated from Coatesville High School where he was on the baseball team. He attained the rank of Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He was a proud veteran of the United States Army serving in the Italian theater where he was stationed at the end of World War II. After leaving the service, he attended Millersville State Teachers College, which led to a successful career in public education. He went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. in Education from Temple University. Dr. Harrison began his career as a teacher at Snow Hill High School on the east coast of Maryland, where he met his wife who was in nursing school. He was a teacher of mathematics and industrial arts in Snow Hill and Unionville, PA, principal in Lebanon and West Chester, PA, and superintendent of school districts in Glassboro, NJ and Wallingford Swarthmore, PA. He retired from the latter in 1977 to work full-time in the long-term healthcare business he and Mrs. Harrison started: Harrison Senior Living. The first nursing home, Harrison House of Christiana, opened 50 years ago in 1972. It was followed by skilled care and assisted living communities in Snow Hill; Delmar and Georgetown, DE; Salisbury, MD; and Coatesville, Pennsylvania. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dr. Harrison was dedicated to the communities in which he and his family lived. A lifelong Presbyterian, he was active in his churches. Among his many civic activities, he was President of the Wallingford Arts Center and a founding member of the Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society in the historic Rose Valley Arts and Crafts Community. He was an avid reader and collector of art as well as vintage Mercedes Benzes which he also enjoyed driving. Dr. Harrison is survived by his children Ellen Harrison Saunders (Whitney) of Suffolk, VA, James Philip Harrison of Unionville, PA, and Jeffrey Carlin Harrison of Charleston, SC, his grandchildren Harrison Godwin Saunders (Rachel) of Philadelphia , PA, Mary -Carson Saunders Stiff (Joshua) of Norfolk, VA, Chase Carlin Harrison of Orlando, FL, Dylan Thomas Harrison (Mariana Su Duran) of Orlando, FL and Grace Whitney Saunders of Durham, NC, back 5 -grandchildren, a niece and 5 nephews. The family would like to express their gratitude to the wonderful employees of Harrison House in Chester County, many of whom he hired and mentored, for the loving and outstanding care they provided to their father. A funeral service will be held at Penningtonville Presbyterian Church Cemetery, 406 Main St., Atglen, PA on Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 2 p.m., followed by a reception at Chantry Place, 15 N. Bridge St, Christiana, PA . In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions for nursing scholarships may be made in memory of Dr. Harrison to: The Suffolk Foundation, 110 Finney Avenue, Suite 100, Suffolk, VA 23434. Please note in the line of note: The Katherine S. Harrison Donor Advised Fund. Contributions can also be made online at www.suffolkfoundation.org/donate. Shivery Funeral Home, Christiana, PA is helping the family. shiveryfuneralhome.com