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Dr William Burr “Bill” Harrison, III

Dr William Burr “Bill” Harrison, III

Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee, USA
Death 25 Jul 2012 (aged 89)
Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama, USA
Burial Cremated, Other
Memorial ID 100830547 · View Source
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HARRISON Dr. William B. (Bill) Harrison III, age 89, of Mobile, Alabama, died peacefully on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 from the complications of pulmonary disease. Bill was born in 1922 in Johnson City, Tennessee, the son of Mayme and Burr Harrison. Throughout his life Bill was known for his character, faith, love of family, intellect and the unrelenting desire to positively contribute to the work at hand. Bill attended the University of Tennessee and following his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering, he entered the U.S. Army in 1944. He served his time in Research and Development at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratories in New Mexico, working on the Manhattan Project. He was recently able to relive some of his army memories when he was invited to join 91 other WWII veterans on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. Following his career in the army, he returned to Knoxville, completing both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. During this time, he also worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he met and married Josephine Mason in 1948. Bill joined the faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1953, ultimately serving as Director and Professor of the School of Nuclear Engineering. In 1965, he moved to the Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, and served as the Dean of the Research Division. In 1969, ready for a change from academia, Bill joined Southern Company Services, Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama, initially as Vice President-Research. He ultimately retired from Southern in 1987 as Senior Vice President. During this time he also served as Vice President for Southern Electric International, Inc. He was proud of his accomplishments at Southern, and in particular his work around solutions for the refining and conversion of coal to clean fuel. He was active with the National Coal Council. Bill had an undying interest in practical solutions to the world's energy needs. Bill also served on the Boards of Trustees for the Georgia Tech Research Institute and the Southern Research Institute, in addition to serving on the Board of Directors for Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. and the Electric Vehicle Development Corporation. Following his retirement he taught again briefly at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and stayed active professionally for a number of years. In 1992, Bill and Jo moved from Birmingham to Mobile to be closer to family. After many years as an active member of Springhill Presbyterian Church, he became a member of Ashland Place United Methodist Church. Bill was a man of many talents, able to build, remodel, and wire almost anything. He was talented musician, enjoyed tennis when younger, liked to cook, wrote a few poems and song lyrics, and was always looking for way to share these talents with family, friends and others. He served numerous leadership roles at the churches he attended over the years, including a mission trip to Guatemala at the age of 80. He loved spending time at Jo's home place in Enterprise, Mississippi. Bill did not wait to be asked, but stepped in when he saw a need. Bill was a good father and husband, also showing unconditional love to those around him. Bill loved his grandchildren, and great-grandchild, and always set high standards as a husband, father, friend and workman. Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters, Mrs. Helen Preston and Mrs. Mildred Skipworth, both of Johnson City, Tennessee. Bill is survived by his wife, Jo, daughter Bonney Irwin, son Will Harrison and his wife Denise of Houston, Texas; grandchildren Dana Peterson and her husband Jeff of Newcastle, Colorado, Todd Irwin of Denver, Colorado, Russell Harrison and his wife Neneth of Houston, Texas; great-grandchild, Mason Denise Harrison; and many loved nieces and nephews. Visitation will be at 10:00 am on Saturday, July 28, at Ashland Place United Methodist Church; followed by the funeral service at 11:00 am. Friends and loved ones are also welcome to join the family at the home of Bonney Irwin following the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Ashland Place United Methodist Church (15 Wisteria Ave., Mobile, Alabama, 36607) or Springhill Presbyterian Church (10 Westminster Way, Mobile, Alabama, 36608). We thank all of the dear friends, family and care providers that supported and assisted the Harrison family during Bill's illness.

Gravesite Details Bill's ashes were scattered by his family at the homeplace in Enterprise, MS on 11/23/12.

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  • Created by: Caroline Kelly Tait
  • Added: 17 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100830547
  • Caroline Kelly Tait
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dr William Burr “Bill” Harrison, III (27 Oct 1922–25 Jul 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100830547, ; Maintained by Caroline Kelly Tait (contributor 47099789) Cremated, Other.