Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Obituaries

December 13, 2011

Grace W. Harrison

CROSSVILLE — Grace Worthington Harrison, 93, of Crossville, passed away Oct. 26, 2011. She died at home peacefully in her sleep.  Funeral services were held Oct. 29 in the chapel of Bilbrey Funeral Home. Burial was in Crossville City Cemetery. Jim Crabtree officiated the service and special music was provided by Marian Sullivan, Annie Crabtree and Greg and Lindy Pendzick.

Grace Worthington Harrison had a grand, wonderful life and appreciated all the beauty in it.

She was born Dec. 18, 1917, in Pittsburgh, PA. She knew she wanted to be an artist at age 8. At 18, in the middle of the Depression, she went to Miami, FL, to be a graphic artist for Burdines Department Store. From there she went to New York City, NY, where she was a graphic artist for Bloomingdales and Saks Department Stores. She had a wonderful time going snow skiing in New England every weekend during the winters and sailing in Maine during the summers. 

In 1941, she met her future husband, Lt. Arthur G. Harrison, a young U.S. Naval officer. They married May 5, 1943, at Grace Church in New York City. After the war, he was stationed in the Mediterranean and she toured Italy. From there she accompanied other Navy wives on trips to Greece and Ephesus, Turkey. She also went to Berlin just after the Berlin Airlift while there was still coal dust in the seats on the plane.

Around 1950, her husband was transferred to the Pacific. They moved to San Francisco where she hung out a shingle as a graphic artist. She said in a joking way that she had no trouble getting work because, she said, "I had worked in New York and so they all thought I knew what I was doing!”

Later they moved to San Diego and had their son, Robert Edgar Harrison. In 1958, they moved to Japan. She continued to paint and got an honorable mention for her oil painting “Bicycles in the Rain” at the Tokyo Museum of Art. In 1960, they moved back to her husband’s home town, Crossville.

In 1963, she got involved helping Paul and Mary Crabtree put on a play called “The Perils of Pinocchio” at the old High School (now part of the Justice Center across from the Hospital). She designed and constructed the puppet Pinocchio on her dining room table out of paper mâché! The play was such a hit in the community that others soon followed (“Kiss and Tell,” “A Trophy for Mr. Heartfelt”) and soon plans were underway to build a “real theater!” Grace worked with Paul Crabtree and many others to design what would become “The Cumberland County Playhouse.” 

The first show was "Tennessee, USA!” Jim Crabtree said, “Paul would design the sets; I would construct them, and Grace would make them — beautiful!”

Later she worked on many other shows with Paul and Mary Crabtree and Martha Hill such as “Our Town,” “Silver Whistle,” “Music Man,” “Oklahoma,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Where in the World!” and “Carousel,” to name but a few.

She never met a medium she didn’t like or wouldn’t try: clay, oil paint, watercolor, felt, air brushing, acrylics and sewing, along with many others — anything to get the job done, and often on a large scale. 

She also had many other interests. She did a lot of research into her family genealogy, undertook furniture refinishing and upholstery, and was very interested in English and Irish history.

She is survived by her son, Robert Edgar Harrison; daughter-in-law, Lisa Garner Harrison; and granddaughters, Grace McNulty and Katherine Lee Harrison, all of Crossville.

In addition to her parents, brother and sister, she was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Gernt Harrison.

Pallbearers were George Ed Harrison, Brock Hill, Cosby Stone, Steve Stone, Alan Strachn and Frank Bohannon.

Bilbrey Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Memorial donations may be made to the Cumberland County Playhouse, P.O. Box 484, Crossville, TN  38557, or online at www.ccplayhouse.com, or to the worthy organization of your choice.

1
Text Only
Obituaries
  • Carl Sherrill

    Carl Nelson Sherrill, 82, of Pikeville, passed away July 24, 2014. Funeral services were held July 26 from the chapel of Hood Funeral Home. Bro. Chip Winstead officiated, with burial in Walker Cemetery.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mary Haack

    Mary Margaret Ives Haack passed away July 27, 2014 in Crossville. She resided at Fairfield Glade Assisted Living near her daughter. She was 98. Memorial services for Mary will be in Muncie, IN.

    July 29, 2014

  • Ruby Gibson

    Ruby Brown Gibson passed away July 28, 2014.

    July 29, 2014

  • Robert Dyer

    Robert Eugene "Bobby" Dyer, 56, of Crossville, passed away July 25, 2014.

    July 29, 2014

  • Harvey Derrick

    Harvey Alvis Derrick, 91, of the Grassy Cove community, passed away July 22, 2014. Funeral services were held July 26 at Grassy Cove United Methodist Church. The Rev. Martha Hale and the Rev. Monica Mowdy officiated, with burial in Hedgecoth Cemetery.

    July 29, 2014

  • G.W. Johnson

    G.W. Johnson, 76, of Crossville, passed away July 23, 2014, at Cumberland Medical Center
    Funeral services were held at Bilbrey Funeral Home July 26, with Bro. Ralph Reagan officiating and burial in Crossville City Cemetery.

    July 28, 2014

  • Opal Pauline Hassler

    Opal Pauline Hassler, 68, of Crossville, passed away July 23, 2014, at Cumberland Medical Center. Funeral services were held at chapel of Bilbrey Funeral Home July 26, 2014, with Bro. Mike Kerley and Bro. Ryan Overfelt officiating and internment in Crossville City Cemetery.

    July 28, 2014

  • Ruth Mackenzie

    Ruth Vicory Yoakum was born on May 9, 1912, to Wilma Pearl McCreary and Walter Carpenter Yoakum in Leavenworth, KS. She passed away on July 17, 2014, at the Wharton Homes at Uplands Village in Pleasant Hill. There will be a service of the worship of God in her memory at the Pleasant Hill Community Church in Pleasant Hill at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2.

    July 24, 2014

  • obit-bill graham.jpg William Graham

    William “Bill” Fancher Graham, 70, of Crossville, passed away peacefully at home July 19, 2014, after a long and courageous battle with malignant lymphoma. Funeral services were held July 22 at Main St. Church of Christ. Bro. Barry Kennedy and Bro. Larry McDuffee officiated, with burial in Green Acres Memory Gardens.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr. Charles Brookhart

    Dr. Charles Edward Brookhart passed away July 21, 2014, in Overland Park, KS. He was 85.

    July 23, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014