Cover photo for Henry Oscar Harrison's Obituary
Henry Oscar Harrison Profile Photo
1909 Henry 2011

Henry Oscar Harrison

January 25, 1909 — January 14, 2011

One of DeFuniak Springs’ few centenarians, Henry Oscar Harrison, died on January 14, 2011. Born on January 25, 1909, to Samuel Tennessee and Leona Henrietta Harrison in Geneva County, Alabama, he was the seventh of thirteen children. His family moved to the Oak Grove Community in Walton County in 1916, where he lived until he enrolled in the Normal School in DeFuniak Springs. He received a teaching certificate from the Normal School, taught in one-room school houses, and served as principal in several of them around Walton County. In 1937, Mr. Harrison received a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Florida and continued teaching in Walton County until 1944 when he and his family moved to Washington County where he became its county agricultural extension agent. In 1951, he became the extension agent for Dixie County; and in 1953, he accepted the position as county agent for Walton County. He was instrumental in securing the funds to construct the Walton County Fair Building on Hwy 83 and the building was subsequently named in his honor. Mr. Harrison received a Master’s Degree in Agriculture in 1955 and continued as county agent for Walton County until his retirement in 1965. He then worked for Vitro Corporation at Eglin Air Force Base for five years and as a grant coordinator for the city of DeFuniak Springs for two years. Mr. Harrison was an active member of First Baptist Church in DeFuniak Springs, where he served as a deacon, Sunday-school teacher, and in many other capacities.
As a member of the DeFuniak Springs Kiwanis Club, Mr. Harrison held a 58-year perfect attendance record. He served as secretary for the Masonic Lodge #170 F & AM for many years. Mr. Harrison also served as an ombudsman for the nursing homes in Northwest Florida and was chairman of the Walton County Democratic Committee for several years. During his retirement years, he constructed over 2200 bluebird houses which adorn many of the yards in Walton County and around the nation. His entire life was a record of service to his fellow man. He was a true Christian. A great dad, granddad, and great granddad has gone to rest. Mr. Harrison is pre-deceased by his father and mother, nine brothers, two sisters, and his wife of 68 years, Minnie Ann Laird Harrison, in 2006.

He is survived by three sons: Cordell and wife, Alma, of Mary Esther; Don and wife, Lesa, of DeFuniak Springs; and Phil and wife, Beth, of Hattiesburg, MS. He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Leslie Anne and husband, Robert Tarabella, of Fairhope, AL and Robert Harrison of Smyrna, GA, both children of Cordell; Reid and wife, Lanny Harrison of Los Angeles, CA; Deanna Harrison of DeFuniak Springs, FL; and Neil and wife, Michelle Harrison of Orlando, FL, all children of Don; Ruth and husband, Doug Cole of Birmingham, AL; and Todd and wife, Beth Harrison of Rockville, MD, both children of Phil; along with seven great-grandchildren: Harrison and Joseph Tarabella, of Fairhope, AL; Addison and Cooper Cole, of Birmingham, AL; Sarah Harrison, of Rockville, MD; and Eli and Zoe Harrison, of Orlando, FL. Mr. Harrison is also survived by numerous other relatives including sole surviving brother, Grady and Ernestine Harrison of Arcadia, FL; Lewis and wife, Louise Laird of Denton, TX; Herbert Laird of Austin, TX; Sarah Laird of DeFuniak Springs; Ann Laird of Ponce de Leon; Barbara Laird Oliver of Pensacola; Faustine Harrison of DeFuniak Springs; Bernice Harrison Becker of Dublin, GA; Jean Harrison of Chipley, FL; Matt Harrison of Jay, FL, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made in memory of this extraordinary life to the First Baptist Church Building Fund or the Florida Baptist Children’s Home. The family will receive guest Monday, January 17, 2011 in First Baptist Church from 10 until 11 A.M. with the funeral beginning at 11:00 A.M. with Dr. Bobby Tucker, Dr. Robert M. Jaye and Reverend Cordell Harrison officiating. Burial will follow in the Harrison Family Plot in Magnolia Cemetery.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Henry Oscar Harrison, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree