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J.E. "Corky" Harrison

March 16, 1928 December 6, 2020
J.E. "Corky" Harrison
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Obituary for J.E. "Corky" Harrison

J.E. “Corky” Harrison, age 92, of Brandon died December 6, 2020, of natural causes. Corky was born in Jonesboro, AR to W. Owen and Elizabeth G. Harrison, the oldest of three brothers, and grew up in Jonesboro and Blytheville, AR. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1946 after graduating from high school, served on active duty for 18 months, then in the Reserves and was recalled to active duty in 1951 during the Korean conflict. When asked why the Marines, he said simply, “They were the best and I wanted to see if I could do it.” After returning from his initial enlistment, he attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. At a costume party his sophomore year, he met Anne Owen when, dressed as a cowgirl, she shot him in the eye with a water pistol. They were married for 52 years until she passed away in 2001. Corky worked in the retail clothing business his entire adult life. He moved with Anne and two young sons to Columbus, MS in 1959 where he had a long association with Egger’s Dept. Store becoming General Merchandise Manager and part owner. After leaving Egger’s, he joined Dillards Dept. Stores in Little Rock, AR, and Memphis, TN. He and Anne returned to MS where he joined McRae’s Dept. Stores in Jackson as the fur buyer. When McRae’s exited the fur business, he worked for Gayfers and then Henig Furs in Jackson, continuing to work part time well into his 80’s. An avid bass fisherman, Corky’s shelves are lined with trophies from the many bass club fishing tournaments he participated in. Some of his happiest times were spent fishing, and talking about fishing, with good friends and sharing his time, passion and expertise with other beginning fishermen including his two grandsons (who sometimes complained mildly that Corky cast to the good spots first from the front of the boat). He (and his many stories) will be greatly missed.
In addition to his wife Anne, Corky was preceded in death by his brother Owen Harrison and sister-in-law Betsy Harrison of Morehead City, NC and brother Col. (Ret. USAF) Tommy Harrison of Apopka, FL. He is survived by two sons Robert Harrison (Susan) of Columbus, MS, and Cliff Harrison (Susan) of Madison, MS; grandson CMSgt (USAF) Rob Harrison (Kendra) and great-grandaughter Raegan of San Antonio, TX; grandson John Ford Harrison of New Orleans, LA; sister-in-law Marty Harrison of Apopka, FL; and many nieces and nephews. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the UMMC Fund for the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The family would like to express their gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff of University Physicians, UMMC, Hospice Ministries, home health nurse Lauren McDaniel, and sitter Keoshia Killingsworth for their kindness and compassionate care, particularly, in Corky’s final weeks.

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