TUPELOâ€”Rev. William Eugene â€śBillâ€ť Harrison, 81, died Thursday, May 24, 2012, at North Mississippi Medical Center.Â
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 26, 2012 at First United Methodist Church in Tupelo with Revs. Jim Curtis, Reagan Miskelly, Jimmy Criddle and Stacey Parvin Fuller officiating.
Burial will follow immediately at Lee Memorial Park.
Visitation will be held from 9-11 a.m. at the Gathering Room of First United Methodist Church in Tupelo.
Pegues Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Rev. Harrison was born Jan. 19, 1931, in Corinth.Â He was the son of Thomas Solin Harrison and Edna Delaney Harrison.Â Â
On November 24, 1955, he married Emily June Wells of Jackson. They were married for 56 years.
Born the middle child of five children in Corinth, he attended public schools, graduating with honors from Corinth High School in 1949.Â He played left-field on the State championship team in 1949.Â
He attended Wood Junior College, Millsaps CollegeÂ and graduated from Mississippi State University in 1955. He worked as a research assistant at MSU in the Department of Sociology.Â He received his Masters in Divinity from Emory University Candler School of Theology in 1958.Â
He served as a minister in the North Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church from 1951 until his death, preaching his last sermon the Sunday prior to his passing.
He served pastorates in Shannon, Itta Bena, Indianola, New Albany and Tupelo, and, beginning in 1983, served as preaching associate on the Okolona Parish until his death, as well as being an agent for the Equitable Financial Company in Tupelo.
During the civil rights era of the 1960â€™s, he served churches in the Delta region of the State.Â He was one of the founding members of the Ministerial Association in the Greenwood and Indianola areas.Â He was also a member of the first bi-racial committee in the city of Tupelo and delivered the sermon of the first community Thanksgiving service.Â
He was also a former board member of United Methodist Senior Services of Mississippi and a member of the Mississippi Conference Board of Evangelism.Â He was also a member of The Lions Club, serving as president in Indianola.
He is survived by two children, Emily Harrison Hill (John Samuel) of Tupelo, and Kathryn Harrison Coleman (Kenneth David) of Pebble Beach, Calif.;Â sister, Bernice H. Parvin of Starkville; brothers, Gerald M. Harrison (Linda) of Deland, Fla. and Dr. Danny E. Harrison (Judy) of Montgomery, Ala.; four grandchildren, Anna Kathryn Sloan (Shipman) of Tupelo, Marilyn Wells Hill of Nashville, Tenn., John Samuel Hill, Jr. of Tupelo and Harrison Sidney Coleman of Pebble Beach, Calif.; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.Â
He was preceded in death by a sister, Gratia H. Underwood of Corinth.
Pallbearers will be Dr. Steven Parvin, Bob Fuller, Jack Hill, Shipman Sloan, Tom Underwood and John Underwood.Â
Honorary pallbearers will be fellow United Methodist Ministers and Hardeeâ€™s Coffee Bunch.
The family asks that memorials be given to Ministerial Scholarship Fund Candler School of Theology Emory University, 1531 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, or Helping Hands of First United Methodist Church, P.O Box 854, Tupelo, MS 38804 or a charity of the donorâ€™s choice.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at www.peguesfuneralhome.com