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Richard J. Harrison died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday January 17, 2019 after long illness.
Richard was born at home on June 28, 1925 in Yonkers to Louise (Luise) VonMaier and Arthur Harrison. His mother called him her angel, as he came 16 years after his brother Arthur.
A star athlete earning four varsity letters in football, basketball, track & field and baseball, he graduated from Commerce High School in Yonkers in 1943.
World War II put a damper on his collegiate basketball career, and due to childhood illness that caused deafness in one ear, Richard had to serve his country as a civilian railroad lineman from Depew NY to Mexico NY, assuring vital food and supplies could get to our troops from the heartland of America.
After the war, he spent some years in the Buffalo area playing semi-professional basketball. As his mother became ill, he returned to Yonkers and helped to build a home with his father. He worked on the Domino sugar docks, as a basketball referee, construction tradesman, a truck & bus driver and a licensed exterminator.
Living a bachelor's life for many years partying in the Hamptons, sailing and tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas and dancing in NYC, Rye and Jones Beaches, he was swept off of his feet by Grace Kathleen Gorman at a friend's wedding and they soon were married on November 27, 1965.
By 1970, with two daughters, one with learning disabilities, Richard left work as an exterminator in Connecticut and went to work for NYS in corrections and then as a safety officer ending his state service in 1987 at Wilton Developmental Center.
Richard loved golfing, a good garage sale, playing his ukulele and driving his big cars. His family has fond memories of rides in his red Chevy Impala convertible. He also enjoyed singing, writing poetry, was an avid reader and enjoyed penny stock investments.
He stressed the importance of the college education which had eluded him. He was a happy, friendly person who had friends from all walks of life. He stressed the importance of humility and listening to all he met.
He enjoyed his years as a member of the Herbert B. Kuhn Senior Center and the Lisha's Kill Reformed Church Club 55.
Besides his parents, Richard was also predeceased by his wife Grace Kathleen, his daughter Barbara Jean, and his brother Arthur.
Left to cherish his memory include his daughter, Kathleen Fuller and her husband Jeff of Colonie and his five grandchildren, Jeffrey of Miami, FL, Christina (Thomas Phillips) of Willow Grove, PA and Jonathan, Caroline and James with whom he joyfully resided with at their home in Colonie until his health needs required advanced care.
Services are pending and will be posted at a later date.
Richard especially cared for his long time caregiver and nurse Gina who was his 3rd daughter and the many others who cared for him in his last years.
In lieu of flowers his family asks that donations be made in his name to: The Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation 110 East 42nd Street, 16th Floor New York, NY 10017