March 28, 1926 – October 11, 2023
With heavy hearts and loving thoughts, the family of Eric Harrison announce his passing on October 11, 2023, at Providence Saint Joseph Hospital.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, to Irish immigrants, he led an adventurous life. He was the second child born to Robert Harrison and Jesse Murphy. During his childhood, his family struggled through the Depression. The challenges worsened when his father fell ill and had difficulties providing for the family.
At 17, Eric joined the U.S. Navy to serve his country during WWII. He attended naval school at the University of Chicago. Amid the Normandy Invasion, his ship hit a mine that resulted in many casualties. Soon after the incident, Eric became a submariner. At the end of WWII, he worked for the U.S. Merchant Marines. When the Korean War broke out, he rejoined the Navy and served through the end of the war.
In 1953, Eric visited California and decided to stay. He began a 37-year career at the Los Angeles Times as a pressman. In 1955, he met and married Joy Davis. The couple were complete opposites, yet perfect for each other. They settled in Burbank and built a family consisting of five children. He loved his family and took immense pride in being a father. Every summer, the family of seven piled in an overloaded station wagon to go camping. The trips were mapped out by Eric and always included wilderness, nature, and fishing. Throughout his lifetime, Eric enjoyed drawing and painting. He appreciated art and found time to take art classes at Chouinard Art Institute.
After retiring from the Los Angeles Times in 1990, Eric and Joy enjoyed traveling and spending time with their growing family. The front door of their home was never locked and was filled with family, friends, and laughter. After Joy passed in 1994, Eric continued life in the home they shared. He then stepped up his travel schedule, taking more than 30 cruises and hundreds of camping trips. He continued traveling well into his 90s.
Eric participated as a member and volunteer in many local organizations during his golden years, including Cliffhangers, Joslyn Senior Center, the Elks, Moose Lodge, I.O.O.B, Roving Antlers, L.A. Sports Broadcast Club, Los Angeles Times 20 Year Club, Burbank RSVP and most dear to him, American Lutheran Church.
The Harrison family will miss their father but are grateful that he lived a long and fulfilling life. In addition to his parents, Eric was preceded in death by his wife, Joy Harrison, sisters, Ruth Parke and Caroline Richter, brother, Walter Murphy, and beloved grandson, Sean Santoyo. He is survived by his children, Mollie Ponek (Philip), Jeanne Santoyo (Edward), Kari Harrison-Rohr (Richard), Eric Harrison Jr. (Patricia) and Robert Harrison (Brenda). He also leaves behind his grandchildren, Ryan Sullivan, Lacey Rohr, Brianne Sullivan, Kelsey Rohr Nigro, Erica Joy Santoyo, Kerry Harrison, Eric Joseph Harrison, Hunter Harrison, Bailey Harrison, Trent Harrison and Devin Harrison, his cherished great-grandchildren, Dylan Eric, Savannah Joy, Harper, Pepper, Weston, Jett, Avery, Rory, and August Joy. In addition, he is survived by his brothers-in-law, Ben Davis and Don Lydeen, sisters-in-law, Melodie Campbell and Judy Davis, and several loving nieces and nephews.
The family appreciates all the kindness extended since their father’s passing. Special thanks and gratitude to his neighbors on Valley Street and at Park Avenue Apartments, Eric’s companion for many of his senior years, Louise Brown, along with his caregivers and loyal friends, Jun and Mogie.
A memorial service will take place at American Lutheran Church at 755 N. Whitnall Highway in Burbank beginning at 1 p.m. on November 12th. A reception will follow at the Burbank Elks Lodge.
In lieu of flowers, the Harrison family suggests that everyone remember and pass along Eric’s favorite greeting, “Top of the morning to you.”