Robert Terry Harrison

March 21, 1948July 19, 2013

Robert Terry Harrison, 65, of Cary, died Friday July 19th, peacefully at his home, surrounded by his wife and two children after a courageous battle with lymphoma. Terry was born March 21, 1948 in Monticello, IN to the late Carroll Harrison and Helen Marie Reynolds Harrison. He graduated from Purdue University in 1968 and was a member of the Theta XI fraternity. While a student at Purdue he worked with The Marshall Space and Flight Center in Birmingham Alabama on the Apollo space capsule design. After graduation he moved to North Carolina to work for EPA as a mechanical engineer. He was preceded in death by a brother Keith Harrison and a sister Barbara Rector.

Terry retired from the Environmental Protection Agency after more than 30 years of service. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the early age of 50, but never let that keep him from fishing every week and traveling to Emerald Isle with his Scout boat in tow, managing to stop and grab some Chili at Wendy’s on his way down the highway. In his retirement he was able to do what he loved most, next to his family, which was fish, fish, fish. In addition, he had the opportunity to take care of his grandchildren Kira and Jace after they were born. The time he spent three days a week with his grandbabies was precious. Whatever his children or grandchildren wanted to do with him, his answer was always ‘yes’. He was a dedicated father who made it to every sporting event, Indian Princess meeting, and science competition for his children. Whenever a problem came up he was quick to engineer a solution. In his last year of life, even as he struggled with his health, he was able to go to South Dakota pheasant hunting with his son, and in May of 2013 traveled to Tennessee to go fishing on Dale Hollow Lake with his brothers, sister, and son for shellcrackers and bass. Terry is survived by his wife of 36 years, Susan Harrison; a son Kevin and his wife Jill, a daughter Emily and his two loving grandchildren Kira and Jace whom he cared for up until his illness. Kira and Jace were the light of his life. He is also survived by two brothers John Shell, and Larry Shell of Tennessee and a sister Connie Spear of Florida. A celebration of life will be held 4 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home Chapel, 200 SE Maynard Road, Cary, NC 27511. The family will receive friends 3-4 pm prior to the service at the funeral home. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, July 27, 2013 at Forks United Church of Christ Cemetery, 4500 Sullivan Trail, Stockertown, PA.

The family would like to express its gratitude to Dr. Kristy Richards, Jim McGowan, and Dr. Lawrence Marks and the UNC Radiation Oncology team for their dedicated and positive approach to treating Terry. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Terry’s name may be made to Zoweh Ministries, P.O. Box 2261, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2261 or Take A Kid Fishing Foundation, P.O. Box 1191, Morehead City, NC 28577. Condolences may be sent to


  • Visitation Tuesday, July 23, 2013
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Robert Terry Harrison

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Rebecca Gelles

July 27, 2013

Dear Susan & Family,

First, on behalf of my family, George and our children please except our heartfelt sympathies to all of you & may God give you strength in the days ahead. Your Dad & Mom kept us abreast of Terry's brave battle over the last few years and now he is at restful peace with Our Father. I remember your wedding and was so honored to be invited, what a special day that was!
Again you are all in our thoughts & prayers.

Eric Crump

July 24, 2013

Like Vicki, I first met Terry through the EPA Tutoring Program at Horton Middle School in Durham in the early 1990's. It was a memorable experience, and I remember Terry as a gentle soul and a good guy. Please accept my condolences.

Jim Knight

July 23, 2013

Tight lines forever!

Susan Fairchild

July 23, 2013

Please accept my condolences on Terry's passing. Terry was always a positive force at EPA and I enjoyed working with him tutoring at a local school and on various projects. I am so sorry for your loss.

Roy Huntley

July 23, 2013

Terry was a "senior" guy when I started working at EPA 27 years ago. Also helpful, always kind, and he always had time for my stupid questions. Condolences.

Connie Sessoms

July 22, 2013

On behalf of the North Carolina Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association's Board of Directors (NCDTSEA), I would like to offer sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathy for you and your family. We will remember you in our prayers as we pray for your health and strength. Be strong and of good courage. Sincerely, Connie Sessoms (NCDTSEA)

July 22, 2013

Susan, please accept my deepest condolences and prayers. Terry was a terrific person and valuable employee in the Emission Measurement Branch. I enjoyed working with Terry for many years... Gil Wood

Vicki Sandiford

July 22, 2013

I first met Terry soon after I started working for EPA in the early 90's when I signed up to help with the Tutoring Program that EPA participated in at Horton Middle School in Durham. Terry was very passionate about helping the kids and it was hard to say no to him. After a few years he asked me if I would take over the coordinating role which I agreed to do. I will forever be grateful to Terry for his role in getting me involved in that program. Though I had to drop out of it a few years later, Terry and I continued to share a friendship and bond from that experience and he always spoke to me as we passed in the halls. I am very sorry for your loss and that it came so soon. I know he left you with many loving memories and I hope you will find comfort in them during this time and in the days and years ahead.
Vicki Sandiford

July 22, 2013

So sorry for your loss.

Cathy Fisher Beimford

Tony Wayne

July 22, 2013

My sincere condolences. Working with Terry at EPA was one of the best times of my career at EPA.