Jan. 18, 1923 - Dec. 8, 2013
George Hodges Harrison died Sunday, Dec. 8, just a month shy of his 91st birthday.
George was born in Palmetto, Fla., to Mary Susan Hodges Harrison and Williams Thomas Harrison, a long time circuit court judge in the State of Florida. He followed in his father's legal footsteps, serving as an attorney in Manatee County for nearly 63 years.
A graduate of Palmetto High School, George studied at the University of Florida
. His college days were interrupted when he joined the U.S. Army
during World War II
. After his service, in 1946, he was accepted to Northwestern University
School of Dentistry, but instead he chose to return home, where he farmed for a year. He then made the decision to attend the University of Florida, College of Law, where he was a member of Phi Delta Phi and research editor of the University of Florida Law Review, graduating with an L.L.B. in 1951.
George started his legal career in Manatee County in 1952. He served as County Attorney from 1955 to 1961, and as president of the Manatee County Bar Association from 1963 to 1964. He was a founding director of the Palmetto Federal Savings and Loan Association, chairman of the board of Westside National Bank, a fellow of The American College of Mortgage Attorneys and a board member of the Manatee National Bank. He was honored in the Manatee County Legends of the Bar in 2004 and 2013.
He was active in local civic groups, including the Bradenton and Palmetto Kiwanis Clubs, and served as president of the Palmetto club.
He and his brother owned and operated G H and W T Harrison Cattle Ranch which had been in the family for many years until it was sold in 2001. It has since been developed into the Harrison Ranch subdivision.
George married Rachel Chesnut in 1952. They honeymooned in North Carolina, and subsequently built a home in Maggie Valley, where they vacationed for nearly 60 summers with their children, grandchildren and "favorite" dogs.
He enjoyed golfing, mullet fishing and hunting, but most of all, being with his family and friends. An active and involved member of his church, George taught Sunday school for many years.
George was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Anna. Survivors include: his wife, Rachel; brother, William T. Harrison, Jr.; son, Joseph and his wife, Kimberly; son, Thomas and his wife, Jennifer; daughter, Martha Ann; and six grandchildren, Hampton, Natalie (Mac), Hunter, Will, Hailey and Connor.
Visitation will be held at Griffith-Cline Funeral Home, 720 Manatee Ave W. in Bradenton, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday , Dec. 12, 2013. A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Friday, Dec 13, 2013, at the First Baptist Church of Palmetto. Memorial donations may be made in his honor to the First Baptist Church of Palmetto, Missions, 1020 Fourth Street West, Palmetto, 34221, or Young Life of Manatee County, P.O. Box 14876, Bradenton, Fla. 34280.