Harrison mourned by friends, family

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 1, 2001

Features Editor

Jan. 31, 2001 10 PM

Grace Harrison, a dedicated teacher, respected citizen and longtime member of the Troy business community, died Wednesday morning, Jan. 31, 2001.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Mayor Jimmy Lunsford expressed sadness at the death of one of Troy’s most prominent citizens and said Mrs. Harrison will be "greatly" missed by the Troy community.

"When you talk about Grace Harrison, you have to talk about the tremendous impact she and her husband had on the entire community," Lunsford said. "The business (Harrison Funeral Home) that they started together is still a thriving business in Troy, and she was a driving force in keeping it going after her husband’s death. Her impact was not just in the business community. She made a great impact through education, her church

and community involvement. But, her greatest contribution was her character. The character she exhibited influenced many people to better themselves. She was a driving force in our community and she will be greatly missed."

Mrs. Harrison grew up in Knoxville and attended Knoxville College, where she met and married Benjamin F. Harrison, Sr.

After living and working in New York and Chicago, the couple moved to Sconiersville, the family home of Harrison, who had graduated from Knoxville College and Worsham School of Mortuary Science. For a while, Harrison worked in his uncle’s funeral home in Columbus, Ga. In 1931, the Harrisons moved to Troy where they owned and operated Harrison Funeral Home for more than 50 years.

Mrs. Harrison assisted her husband in the management of the funeral home until his death in 1974. She and her son continued to operate the family business.

During the time she assisted her husband with the management of the funeral home, Mrs. Harrison continued to pursue her education and teaching career. She received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Alabama State University.

She began her teaching career in Pike County at Shady Grove School in 1936. She later served as principal of Oakland Heights Elementary School and taught history and social studies at Academy Street High School for 36 years. She also taught at Charles Henderson High School for two years.

Mrs. Harrison was also active in her church and community.

She and Irene Fields were the first two African-American women to register to vote in Pike County. She was a member of the Alabama Retired Teacher Association, the Mysterious Ten Federated Club and Dorothy Twelve Women’s Club and was a founding member of the Bow and Arrow Club.

She served as the Worthy Matron of the Silver Star Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, Chapter Number 12.

She was a member of the Greater St. Paul A.M.E. Church where she served on the Stewardess Board for more than 35 years and was the superintendent of the Sunday school for many years.

Mrs. Harrison is survived by her daughter Grace Harrison Miller and son-in-law, Eugene Miller; her daughter-in-law, Scherryl J. Harrison; her grandchildren Ahmed Synkai Harrison, Yemisi ben-Jabori Harrison and Christopher Harrison Miller and one great-granddaughter, Ishwara Grant Harrison.

Funeral arrangements will be announced today. However, family members have requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Wiregrass Hospice, P.O. Drawer, 1146, Troy, AL 36081 or the Careerman’s Club, in care of Vaughn Daniels, P.O. Box 516, Troy, AL 36081.