James Thomas Harrison

June 18, 1943December 11, 2012

James Thomas (Jim) Harrison, born June 18, 1943 in Meadville, Pennsylvania died on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 in his home in New Braunfels surrounded by his wife and children. He was the third son of William and Catherine (Hayes) Harrison. He was an honor student at St. Agatha High School in Meadville, and attended Allegheny College in the same city. Jim graduated from Allegheny in 1965 with a degree in psychology and a minor in chemistry, and was awarded an Air Force commission as a second lieutenant after completing the required Reserve Officer Training program. His 28-year Air Force career included assignments all over North America, a two-year program at George Washington University where he earned a Master’s Degree in hospital administration, and finally at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. During his career he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and served in a variety of administrative capacities at Air Force Hospitals, including being named Administrator of the base hospitals at Loring AFB (Caribou Maine) and Dyess AFB (Abilene Texas). He was active in civic organizations as well, including Rotary International and Toastmasters, where he honed his public speaking skills and was in demand as a spokesman and trainer for Air Force CHAMPUS health care programs nationwide.

Lt. Col. Harrison fathered two sons from his marriage to the former Lynne Williams of Meadville, James Stephen and Christopher David, both of whom currently reside with their wives and children in the San Antonio area. Always a very active person, Jim became an exercise enthusiast and a competitive runner who participated in several marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 1972. He was also a skilled golfer, a championship go-kart racer and a licensed pilot.

After leaving the Air Force, Jim was hired by a civilian corporation as a technical consultant, managing a group of scientists who studied the effects of lasers and other electromagnetic phenomena on pilots and aircraft navigation systems and developing critical laser eye protection. He showed his entrepreneurial spirit within two years, and started a separately-contracted operation, serving as its general manager as well as being a senior advisor on committees dealing with Air Force strategic missions, base closure and retention studies while managing the day-to-day operations of his technical group.

While in San Antonio, he met and married the former Kimberley Atchison with whom he had a third son, Sean Michael. In addition to his wife and sons, he is survived by siblings William Charles of Akron, Ohio (wife Pat), Benjamin Leo of Dallas (wife Tamara), Edward Gerald of Warren, Ohio (wife Polly), and Mary Kay Muller of Largo, Florida (husband David). He was the proud grandfather of five grandchildren: Brady, Shannon, Ashlyn, Bailey, and Jamey. His parents and his brother Frederick predeceased him.

Some of his favorite memories are from his Pennsylvania childhood where he was a member of the local Boy Scout troop, where he competed (and won) the Soap Box Derby competition, became a skilled water skier, had two paper routes as a delivery boy, worked at Grill’s House of Carpets, sang and played the organ at St. Mary’s Catholic church on Water Street and in many other ways laid the foundation for an active, productive and positive life. Jim will be missed by a host of family and friends, classmates at St. Agatha and Allegheny and many others whose lives he touched with his relentless enthusiasm, energy, intellectual curiosity, generosity and unselfish kindness.

Friends may call on the family from 5-7 pm Monday, December 17 to be followed by the Rosary at the Zoeller Funeral Home in New Braunfels, TX. A service to celebrate Jim’s life will be held at 11:30 am on Tuesday, December 18 at Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church in New Braunfels, TX; burial and military honors will immediately follow at 1 pm at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to: New Braunfels Rotary Scholarship Fund, PO Box 310587, New Braunfels, TX 78131.


  • Visitation Monday, December 17, 2012
  • Rosary Monday, December 17, 2012
  • Funeral Mass Tuesday, December 18, 2012

James Thomas Harrison

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Malcolm Stratemann Jr

January 11, 2013

I meet Jim while kart racing, we became this friends, meet his sons and was there the night he proposed to Kim. While I did not always see eye to eye with Jim, I always appreciated his opinion, his friendship, etc. I will miss him very much and hope to see him in heaven someday.

Norm Paulsen

December 24, 2012

Jim was a good buddy for 20 years. We had a lot of laughs together and some great arguments. I was greatful for his help in my second career after military retirement. He was one of the most intelligent guys I have ever khown. I will miss him very much. God bless Kim and Sean.

Jen Harrison

December 21, 2012

Uncle Jim was a good person.
Rest in peace.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Mike & Pat Krbec

December 20, 2012

We were honored to have Jim & Kim as our neighbors for 13 years. We will certainly miss him and his humor. We plan to be there for Kim and Sean as they now travel this journey on earth without him as part of their lives knowing some day we will meet again.

Paul,Theresa andCary Stanley

December 18, 2012

We Will always remeber Jim taught our daughter to love the game of golf.the fact she learn with al lefthandclub and she was righthand haha maytheblord bless youKim andSeanand keep you safe.

T. Benline

December 18, 2012

A wonderful friend and colleague; incredible wit, creative thought, and ability to put words on paper; the right take on just about everything; such great courage in facing the trials of life. We will miss Jim Harison.

Bill Hoke

December 18, 2012

To the Harrison family, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Ed and Mary kay my thoughts are with you also.

Jenny Burgin

December 14, 2012

No words can express how much Jim will be missed. I am praying for you. One day we all be reunited again in glorious place free from any physical pain.

Jim Hriso

December 14, 2012

Jim was a member of the "814", a group of 4 of us who grew up in Meadvile, PA and graduated from Allegheny College. We will always remember the "Green Dent", Jim's old Dodge car without floorboards, getting Jim to St. Marys to play the organ for Sunday Mass and flying cross country trips out of the Meadville airport as part of our ROTC pilot training. Jim was a true friend and will be greatly missed.

December 14, 2012

Jim was a wonderful person, husband, father, brother, citizen and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has gone to his reward, and I look forward to seeing him again. May the Lord bless and comfort his family and friends..
Mike and Carol Wyrick, San Antonio, TX