July 17, 2022, 83, La Grange –
Clifton O’Neal Harrison, 83, exchanged the embraces of his family for the embrace of his loving Lord on Sunday, July 17, 2022. Clifton was born in Lenoir County to the late Titus Greene Harrison and Ruth Elizabeth LeNeave Harrison on January 26, 1939. No doubt the receiving line in heaven was lengthy, led first by his Savior and followed immediately by his wife and soulmate of 63 years, Joyce Parrish Harrison; and their daughter, Donna Harrison Hardy.
Working a full career at DuPont as a Production Planner and Engineer, Clifton retired from the textile industry to start Harrison Realty, a successful venture that he continued for many years. Clifton’s love of La Grange and heart for people combined perfectly with his knack for numbers to create a prosperous business.
Marrying his high school sweetheart in 1958, the love story between Clifton and Joyce was unparalleled. Clifton was truly her knight in shining armor, and there was nothing he wouldn’t do for her. Raising four daughters together, they were committed to having a happy family, a quality which Clifton prayed for every day. Responsible, loving, and kind, Clifton was an excellent provider for his family and valued Joyce’s role as a stay-at-home mother.
The values and beliefs which Clifton held were indeed traits he strived to pass down to his daughters. Firm in his faith, he raised his girls to know and show the love of Jesus. He believed in daily prayer, reading of scripture, and giving tithes to the church. He taught them the value of a dollar and made sure they were constantly occupied with a job as soon as they were able. He taught them how to check and change their oil and cut the grass, though he was always concerned for their safety. His kids developed a tremendous respect for Clifton.
Clifton took his role as the patriarch of his family seriously. The sun never set before Clifton bowed his head to pray for each of his family members by name. As a peace maker, he allowed nothing to create a riff in his family. He possessed a forgiving heart full of love and was constantly ready to welcome his family with open arms.
Time with family was crucial to Clifton as he enjoyed every opportunity to make memories and have fun. The family looked forward to vacations together each summer, but day-to-day life was equally valued. Clifton was intentional about spending time with each of his grandchildren, whether walking to the old Friendly Mart, skipping rocks to see who could make the biggest splash, or taking them out on boat rides. Trips to the railroad trestle were nearly a rite of passage, and kick the can was a family tradition that entertained them all through the years.
With a love and devotion to his Lord, Clifton faithfully worshiped at La Grange First Free Will Baptist Church. As a choir member for nearly 60 years, he sang with a robust tenor voice alongside many family members and close friends. While the singing was important, Clifton’s primary role was to keep folks laughing. He loved to laugh and loved to hear other people laugh. Few moments went by in Clifton’s presence without ending up in stitches of laughter.
Maintaining excellent physical and mental health until his bout with cancer, Clifton enjoyed keeping his hand in many things. Hunting, fishing, and riding his boat brought much enjoyment over the years. He maintained hives of bees, collected honey, and even climbed to the top of a holly tree at 77 years old. He enjoyed dancing with Joyce doing the “Bop”, and looked forward to the monarch butterflies in his yard each year. Spending time caring for his garden brought him much pleasure. From plowing the rows with his Farmall 140 to growing everything from potatoes and corn to sunflowers, zinnias, and asparagus, Clifton relished every aspect of gardening from preparing the soil to collecting the harvest.
Many fond memories surround the life of Clifton from his love of Westerns and The Andy Griffith Show to his enjoyment of a good meal at night. He was never fully dressed without Chapstick on his lips and Doublemint gum in his pocket. The smell of Old Spice emanated from his presence, and a smile was constantly on his lips.
A service of love and remembrance will be held at 12:00 noon on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at La Grange First Free Will Baptist Church with Rev. Ronnie Hobgood officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow the service at Fairview Cemetery.
Clifton is survived by three daughters, Kim Harrison Hipkiss and husband, Jimmy, Lisa Harrison Davis and husband, Ken, and Kathy Harrison Korzekwinski and husband, John; son-in-law, Warren Hardy; grandchildren, Christin Hardy, Connor Hardy Potter (Ethan), Justin Hardy, Ashley Hipkiss Kennamer (John), Cassidy Hipkiss, Meredith Davis Holmes (Matthew), Morgan Davis Richards (Cody), Madison Davis, Eve Korzekwinski, Harrison Korzekwinski, and Rose Joyce Korzekwinski; great-granddaughter, Sawyer Holmes; and many special nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to extend their deepest gratitude to the many compassionate caregivers, doctors, and nurses who cared for Clifton during his illness.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.rousefh.com. Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.