Dr. James Pennock Harrison, Jr. of Rose Valley, PA and Seabrook Island, SC, passed away on Jan. 14, 2022 of natural causes. Born on Dec. 28, 1926 in the former Coatesville Hospital, he lived his final days at Harrison House of Chester County, an assisted living community founded by him and his wife, Katherine S. Harrison, after purchasing the hospital site. Dr. Harrison was predeceased by his parents, James P. and Blanche Carlin Harrison, his brother and sister-in-law Harry Francis and Phyllis Bond Harrison, and his wife of 63 years, Katherine Shockley Harrison. 

A native of his beloved Christiana, PA, he attended Christiana Elementary School and graduated from Coatesville High School where he was on the baseball team. He achieved the rank of Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army serving in the Italian theatre where he was stationed at the conclusion of World War II. After discharge from the service, he attended Millersville State Teachers College which led to a successful career in public education. He later earned his Master’s Degree and Doctorate of Education from Temple University. Dr. Harrison began his career as a teacher at Snow Hill High School on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where he met his wife who was in nursing school. He was a teacher of math and industrial arts in Snow Hill and Unionville, PA, a principal in Lebanon and West Chester, PA, and a superintendent of the Glassboro, NJ and Wallingford Swarthmore, PA school districts. He retired from the latter in 1977 to work full time in the long term healthcare business he and Mrs. Harrison created: Harrison Senior Living. The first nursing home, Harrison House of Christiana, opened 50 years ago in 1972. This was followed by skilled care and assisted living communities in Snow Hill; Delmar and Georgetown; Salisbury; and Coatesville, Pa. 

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dr. Harrison was devoted to the communities in which he and his family lived. A lifelong Presbyterian, he was active in his churches. Among his many civic activities, he was President of the Wallingford Arts Center and a founding member of the Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society in the historic arts and crafts community of Rose Valley. He was an avid reader and collector of art as well as vintage Mercedes Benz which he also enjoyed driving. 

Dr. Harrison is survived by his children Ellen Harrison Saunders (Whitney) of Suffolk, VA, James Philip Harrison of Unionville, PA, and Jeffrey Carlin Harrison of Charleston, SC; his grandchildren Harrison Godwin Saunders (Rachel) of Philadelphia, PA, Mary-Carson Saunders Stiff (Joshua) of Norfolk, VA, Chase Carlin Harrison of Orlando, FL, Dylan Thomas Harrison (Mariana Su Duran) of Orlando, FL and Grace Whitney Saunders of Durham, NC.; five great-grandchildren, a niece and five nephews. 

The family wishes to express their grateful appreciation to the wonderful employees of Harrison House of Chester County, many of whom he hired and mentored, for their loving and outstanding care of their father.

A graveside service was held at Penningtonville Presbyterian Church Cemetery, 406 Main St., Atglen, Pa. on Sunday, Jan. 23, followed by a reception at Chantry Place in Christiana, Pa. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions for nursing school scholarships may be made in memory of Dr. Harrison to: The Suffolk Foundation, 110 Finney Avenue, Suite 100, Suffolk, VA 23434. Please note in the memo line: The Katherine S. Harrison Donor Advised Fund. Contributions may also be made online at www.suffolkfoundation.org/donate. Shivery Funeral Home, Christiana, PA is assisting the family (shiveryfuneralhome.com).