James “Jim” Edward Harrison

The beloved James “Jim” Edward Harrison went to be with the Lord on July 5th, 2024, at the age of 85 at the Ben Atchley Veterans Home in Knoxville, Tennessee. Born on December 11, 1938, in Evarts, Kentucky to Verlin Benjamin Harrison and Della Dixon Lyons. James graduated from Robert A. Taft High in Cincinnati, Ohio and continued to Morehead State University on a basketball Scholarship. He played three successful seasons before an unfortunate injury had his playing days cut short. After his injury he went on to join the United States Army where he spent 20+ years. He served as a system programmer during his time and ended up being one of the best at his position. James was awarded 5 bronze stars while serving for outstanding service, as well as The Army Commendation Medal for his meritorious achievement in his support of the United States objectives in the Republic of Vietnam. He also proudly served 2 full tours in Vietnam.

James is survived by his daughter Melissa “Missy” Reasor, son Vaughn Edward Harrison, daughter in law Traci Abner Harrison. Three grandchildren Sarah Reasor Patrick and husband Camion Patrick and son Kingston Patrick, Lucas “Luke” Vaughn Harrison, and Lane Edward Harrison. And two great grandchildren Liam Scott Patrick, and Levi Davis Harrison. His nieces Linda Brandt and husband Russell, Ruth McAdams and her husband Jerry, Rita Sommerton and her husband Marvin, and Karen Cahn, nephew Jim Smith and wife Beverly, and great nephews Marc Arnett, Drew Smith and wife Sarah, Kevin Smith and wife Lauren, and Kyle Smith. He is also survived by his granddaughter’s father Jeffery Reasor and his great grandson’s mother Caitlyn Snell. Preceding him in death was his wife of 52 years Ellen Dale Harrison, his father Verlin Benjamin Harrison, mother Della Dixon Lyons, sisters Wilma Smith and Gerry Humpheries, nephew David “Red” Smith, and great nephew Michael Arnett. Everyone that has ever met Big Jim has always had positive things to say as he was referred to as the “gentle giant” as he stood close to seven feet tall. James took a lot of pride in his grandchildren as one of his many titles in life was Papaw.

One of Luke’s best memories of papaw is when Luke told him one time in elementary school how cool it would be for him to be picked up first in the school line. That’s all it took for him to start being first every single day. For eleven straight school years he was first in line for Luke and Lane. He would get to the school every day at noon and sit outside in a lawn chair and read his Bible with a lemon lime gatorade. One of Sarah’s best memories of papaw is when she would spend the night at her Mamaw and papaw’s house on Friday nights and while Mamaw was cooking dinner he would be coming home from work. Sarah would hide in the cabinets whenever he would finally get home, Mamaw would play along saying, “oh where’s Sarah?” Papaw would eventually find her and say his patented “Hi baby” that Sarah knows and loves so well. Lane also has a favorite memory of his papaw, it’s whenever Lane played optimist football and his papaw would always come to every game, but that’s not what’s so special about this memory. It’s how he would even come to every practice. He would sit in the same chair from the back of his truck in the same spot with a little handheld cooler. The cooler always had the same thing in it every time. 3 lemon lime gatorade’s, one for Luke, one for Lane, and one for himself.  James had a ton of stories from his youth, and he would always share whenever he was asked, many of which feature his two friends Henderson “Heckie” Thompson and Tom “Mouse” Hamilton.

In his free time Jim loved learning more about the Bible, took a huge interest in photography, learning and fiddling with technology, and was a proud patriot who had a deep belief in his faith. Although he loved his duties as a papaw, nothing will compare to him being a dad and a family man. He would tell you all the time how much he enjoyed his time with his two children, his wife, and his grands. We invite friends and family to join us at Holley Gamble Funeral Home on Wednesday July 10, 2024, for visitation from 11:00 to 1:00 and the service following after. The Burial will begin at 2:00 at Anderson Memorial Gardens and will include full Military Honors. The family would like to send a heartfelt thank you to the staff at the Ben Atchley Veterans Home for their loving care, compassion, and dedication shown to Jim and his family. The family also asks you to think about a donation to the Campbell County Honor Guard for their dedication to their veteran brothers and sisters.

Holley Gamble Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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