Alton Tyrone Harrison
1942 - 2017
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Alton Tyrone Harrison
Alton Tyrone (Ty) Harrison, born to Alton LeRoy (Babe) & LaRose (Smith) Harrison, passed away peacefully Saturday, June 3rd, 2017, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife, Judy (Gunderson) Harrison, sister Marjean (Richard) Nielson, sons Todd (Susan), Greg (Nicole) & Brandon (Amanda), step-sons Juan (Candi) Arce-Larreta & Jorge (Ginger) Arce-Larreta, nephew Marc LeRoy Halliday, niece Andrea (Halliday) Doman & 16 grandchildren.
Ty was born in Murray, Utah and raised in the community formerly known as Crescent, Utah. Growing up on the family farm, his grandmother, Sarah Lovina Harrison, instilled in him a love of plants and nature. This propelled him to a long and distinguished career, teaching in colleges & universities around the country, most recently as professor and professor emeritus at Westminster College of Salt Lake City, Utah. Ty graduated from Jordan High School and went on to earn a B.S. in Botany at the University of Utah, an M.S. in Botany at UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Biology at Stanford University. Although mechanically & technologically challenged at times, his love of learning was infectious, and there are many who recall immersive learning experiences with him, in the classrooms of academia, the wild, & the urban.
Many communities are reaping the benefits of Ty's foresight and efforts, to preserve and restore natural habitat and open space nearby, and within their borders. They will continue to benefit for generations to come.
Ty loved music, art & irises, but above all, he blessed us by imparting his insight into the sanctity, majesty, grandeur, and wonder of life on our planet, and the beauty that is worth our while to defend.
We would like to sincerely express our gratitude to the many compassionate health care workers who have provided time, guidance and comfort to Ty and his family these last several months. God bless you all!
Services will be held Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm at Goff Mortuary, 8090 South State St., Midvale, Utah. A viewing will also be held Wednesday, June 7 from 6pm-8pm at the same location. Interment at Crescent Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to "The Ty Harrison Endowment for the Environmental Center" at Westminster College.
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness." -John Muir

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Published in The Salt Lake Tribune on Jun. 6, 2017.
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14 entries
June 10, 2017
How I loved my special cousin Ty. My memories of growing up with you will never fade. I will remember and love you always.
LouAnn Smith Bates
June 9, 2017
During our efforts to keep the golf course out of Dimple Dell Park Ty shared with us so much of the history of that remarkable place including the wonderful native plants. Thank you Ty for sharing your wonderful knowledge and your homemade jelly at your farm. Rest In Peace my friend.
Robyn MacDuff
June 8, 2017
I was a student of Dr. Harrison and his teaching assistant during my education at Westminster College (1998-2002). Ty inspired me and countless other students at Westminster College. His enthusiasm for the environment and botany was infectious, and his passion for and knowledge of plants was bottomless. I'll never forget the snowshoe hikes through the canyons on Environmental Biology field trips, and how excited Dr. Harrison was during our Ecology class Emigration Creek project. His classes were part of the reason I changed my major from a B.A. to a B.S. He helped make my Westminster experience fun and taught me a lot about the local flora in Utah.
Tessa Hall
June 7, 2017
Ty was truly an encyclopedia of knowledge about all things in nature. He especially loved teaching anyone who would listen about Dimple Dell Park. I loved listening to his stories. Everything I know about the plants, wildlife, and history of this treasured park, I learned from Ty. He left a big gift to our community and his legacy will not be forgotten. Our condolences go out to Judy and Ty's family.
Diana, Kurt and the vanUitert Family
Diana vanUitert
June 7, 2017
Thanks to Ty for his work on the Jordan River in the Poplar Grove neighborhood going back 30 years. I remember him coming into a Poplar Grove Improvement Council meeting to announce to us that the Jordan River behind all the chainlink fences a Tom Sawyer adventure.

We did get those fences taken down.
Edie Trimmer
June 7, 2017
Salt Lake City's natural lands lost a tremendous advocate with the recent passing of Dr. Ty Harrison. To those who knew him, Ty was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about the natural world, and his enthusiasm for the native flora of the Salt Lake Valley was infectious. Ty was a frequent collaborator on urban natural lands projects, and his suggestions were invaluable to the success of countless ecological restoration efforts. Ty was also a great teacher, and his frequent appearances with classrooms and volunteer groups in Salt Lake City helped inspire the next generation of local naturalists and conservation leaders. Our staff will miss his knowledge, his encouragement, his enthusiasm and his friendship. Our sincerest condolences to his family and many friends and students. We know that his memory lives on in the thousands of lives that he touched, and his influence will survive for generations in the landscapes and wild places that benefitted from his stewardship.
Salt Lake City Parks & Public Lands Friends in the Open Space Program
June 7, 2017
Beautiful memories treasured forever of
the times we spent together . . . they are silently kept of a special Uncle, Brother, and Dad we loved,and will never forget.

Todd,Greg,Brandon, and my Mom (Marjean) My deepest sympathy to you all.

All my love, Uncle Ty for the memories of camping at Soapstone and Fort Bridger.

Counting all the sego lily we could find through out Red Butte.

Our mushroom hunts. Exploring nature as we went a hunting for fungus.

Those wild edible dinner's of cattail pollen muffins and choke cherry jelly, with a side of fried milk weed pods fresh from the farm.

These times are cherished more deeply !!!

There is a place in my heart that I hold all these memories of you. I miss you and always will !!

My love to you all,

Andrea Halliday- Doman
June 7, 2017
Andrea Halliday
June 6, 2017
I was a student of Ty's 20 years ago and consider my experience in his classes and labs as one of the most influential parts of my education. Ty was a gifted teacher and friend who cared deeply about his students and also in helping us to appreciate and protect our planet. His classes had a profound impacted on me --I find myself regularly sharing experiences and lessons learned with my children. Please know of my gratitude and that of countless others for sharing your husband, father and grandfather with the Westminster and Greater Salt Lake Community. May you find peace knowing he had an indelible impact not only on the environment, but also on his students --one that will reciprocate for generations to come.
Chris Thomas
June 6, 2017
I was so fortunate to work with Ty on the Audubon bird preserve that was his family farm. He'd be looking down at plants, and I'd be looking up at birds and we'd look at each other and share notes. Thank you, Ty.
Robert Wilson
June 6, 2017
I walked many steps and took many journeys with Ty at Westminster College. Together we shared thoughts, experiences and words that served to brighten the day and make all of us look forward to the future. Ty's creativity in reaching students and colleagues was unrivaled. His sincerity and care for his fellow man was unsurpassed. We will always miss you, Ty, and will never forget you. Remember, no one ever dies as long as they are remembered.

Kay Kuzminski
Westminster Faculty 1974 - 2013
Catherine Kuzminski
June 6, 2017
I had the pleasure of taking Ty's environmental biology class at Westminster in the mid-90's. I appreciated his quirky spirit and passion for our outside world and the wondrous systems that allow us to coexist. I have fond memories of his 4-hour exploratory labs, (an awesome journal to reference) and feel lucky to have crossed paths with him, a gifted and unconventional educator. I know he will enjoy being in the dirt. Peace.
Lindsey Mattison
June 5, 2017
He made a great impact on so many people in such amazing ways, caring for and showing others how to enjoy and nurture nature. Rest peacefully, Ty. Westminster Grad 2000
Carrie Marshall Watts
June 5, 2017
I am devastated by this news. His loss is to the community is incalculable. We will not forget nor lose sight of his enthusiasm, guidance and foresight.
Tony Frates
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