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William "Bill" Harrison

1921 - 2019
William "Bill" Harrison Obituary
William "Bill" Harrison

Naples - A Man For The Ages

The world suffered a profound loss with the passing of William Harrison, at age 97, on October 15, 2019. Bill Harrison exemplified all of the values that elevate individuals, families, and nations to greatness. Born in 1921 in rural Ohio, raised on a family farm, he learned the values of hard work, self-sufficiency, honesty and accepting others. Growing up through the turmoil of the depression, he had to leave home and make his way in the world in his teens, giving him the gifts of independence, self-sufficiency, confidence and resourcefulness. Finding his way to a job in the railroad, he was ready to answer his country's call in World War II, running munitions and supply trains during the North Africa and Italian campaigns. This allowed him to discover the virtues of patriotism, courage, and loyalty to your friends. When it was over, and his life was his own, he lived it fully and completely. He came to Florida and started with nothing.

In business, his absolute integrity allowed him to deal with people all over the world, on the honor of his handshake. He paid his debts, and those who worked for him, before he paid himself. He never needed lawyers, and never cheated a soul. He faced setbacks and triumphs alike with ease, good humor and humility. He was never a braggart and never diminished others to elevate himself.

And most of all, despite the turmoil of his youth and the horrors of war, the one thing he chose to live his entire life by was love. His humor, kindness, generosity of spirit, and openness towards others gave him a rare gift for instantly making friends across all levels of society.

He loved and raised two children, Jill and Guy. He taught them his values. He kept them safe. He had their backs when they needed him. He loved them unconditionally. He loved their spouses Maribi and Robert, as true parts of his own family. He was treated to the gift of a grand-daughter, Alia, who came all the way from an orphanage in China to become part of our family.

And he loved his wife Margaret for an entire lifetime. She was his high school sweetheart, who waited for him through the war, and then they gave each other 67 years of devotion, He took care of her, and kept her safe by his side, until the end of her days. He completed her, and she him. It was a love for all time, and an example that echoes down through our family today and forever.

Our family says goodbye, Dad. We will not see your like again. And after our tears are dry, we will celebrate a life lived richly beyond imagining.
Published in Naples Daily News from Nov. 7 to Nov. 8, 2019
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