Gainesville- Mary R. Harrison, a twenty-year resident of Gainesville, died at home on February 20th. She was born in Coopers, West Virginia on March 8, 1922 to Italian immigrant and coal miner, Vito Diaco, and Virginian, Rachel Hogsten. She grew up in Bramwell, West Virginia with three brothers and one sister and, though they often struggled to make ends meet and her father "never saw the light of day till Roosevelt came in," Mary had many fond memories of those days.

After graduating from high school she married Frank Harrison and they lived in West Virginia; Pikeville, Kentucky; and Wakefield, Massachusetts before settling in Hallandale, Florida in 1952. Frank and Mary had one child, Jeffrey, who was born in West Virginia.

Mary worked hard and held many different kinds of jobs-"I could write a book on all the things I've done," she once said-traveled the world, and loved to dance. She rarely rested.

Mary is survived by her son and three grandsons, McCabe, Casey, and Connor Blue, whom she adored and spoiled. In Connor's words, "Noni was a stubborn and witty woman whom I spent so much time with when I was a little kid, playing Super Smash Brothers and Legend of Zelda on her porch TV while she would make me as much food as I wanted. She was that kind of awesome loving Grandma."

At Mary's unequivocal insistence there will be no formal observance of her passing. Those who wish to make a gesture may send a donation in Mary's name to Haile's Angels Pet Rescue, 5231 SW 91st Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608 or at:



(352) 376-7556

Published in Gainesville Sun from Feb. 24 to Feb. 26, 2013