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JAMES E. HARRISON

Obituary
  • "My heart grieves for you... and yet I smile in the thought..."
    - Debbie (Heck) Vasquez

With family at his side, long-time Sacramento resident and retired attorney James E. Harrison passed away at 6:35 a.m. New Year's Day after a brief illness. He was 87. After graduating from Sequoia High School in Redwood City, Jim joined the Army Air Corps and qualified for pilot training during World War II. After the war, he attended San Mateo Junior College and UCLA. Years later, he attended McGeorge School of Law and graduated in 1964. After college, he worked for an insurance company in San Francisco, where he met his wife-to-be, Caroline. The couple married in 1952, moved to Sacramento in 1954 and raised three daughters. Jim passed the bar exam on his first try and began a 32-year legal career as an associate at Coben, Cooper & Zilaff. He ended his career as a solo practitioner who enjoyed serving at one time as a chief justice for the UC Davis Law School moot court. Jim was active in the UCLA Alumni Association and St. Ignatius parish. He had a rare blood type needed by certain pediatric patients and gave more than 500 donations to the community blood bank. He called his military service the most important experience of his life and his childhood years during the Depression the most formative. Jim was known for a quick sense of humor, easy manner and brilliant memory. For most of his life, he did his own yard, home and pool care maintenance and rode the bike he received on his tenth birthday. Jim is survived by his three children: Carol and her spouse, Pam; Karen Clevenger and her husband, Gene; and Tracy. He is also survived by three grandchildren: Kristi and her husband, Roy Gage; Tim and his wife, Sabrina; and Samantha. He is also survived by his sister, Margaret Sweet, and three great-grandchildren, Kailee, Reese and Addison Gage. His wife of 58 1/2 years preceded him in death, passing away on April 9, 2011. His elder brother, Harry, passed away on Dec. 22, 2013. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the blood bank or the Sacramento Children's Home at 2750 Sutterville Road, Sacramento, CA 95820 or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202. A memorial Mass is scheduled for Friday, January 17 at 10 a.m. at St. Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church at 3235 Arden Way in Sacramento. Reception follows. Interment at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon will be private.

bullet Army bullet UCLA bullet WWII
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