Gene Harrison, also known as “Pope,” 87, passed to heaven on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, at Wesley Woodlawn Hospital in Wichita.
He was born Sept. 12, 1931, in Dundee, Ind.
Gene transferred to Newton from Elwood, Ind., as the plant manager for Steven’s Spring Co. in 1961 during the thriving mobile home years. In 1964, he started E&H Foam to serve the growing needs of the bedding and furniture industry, and over the next few years, began diversifying into multiple related business opportunities, i.e. Prairie Schooner Vans, Classic Interiors, etc. Being the entrepreneurial spirit he was, another idea intrigued him, and he pursued the building of a residential mobile home park, Prairie Estates. Although he worked hard to build each successful venture, he worked equally hard to ensure his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren knew the meaning of love, fun, strong family relationships and making treasured memories.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, at Grace Community Church in Newton with Pastor Steve Friesen presiding.
There will be a private visitation only.
In lieu of flowers and memorial donations, it is Gene’s family’s wish that his friends and family honor Gene by spending special time with their own family and enjoying each other’s precious company.
Gene is survived by his wife, Dana; two sons and their spouses, Toby (Laura) Harrison and Kelby (Sharon) Harrison; four daughters and their spouses, Melody (Tim) Maloney, Reni Whitfield (Randy Vanderree), Tina (Mike) Garcia and Tawnya (Loren) Schroeder; 24 grandchildren and their spouses, Colby (Dyan) Roberson, Josh (Stephanie) Roberson, Zach (Jill) Roberson, Tyler (Amber) Roberson, Amber (Brandon) Bogue, April (Chad) Childers, Kacey (Sinead) Harrison, Alissa Harrison, Tosha (Todd) Smith, Cori (Jerame) Carson, Nisha (Jason) Spencer, Sheena (Cody) Smith, Cody (Kym) Garcia, Caleb (Madiah) Metzler, Luke (Colleen) Metzler, Gabe Metzler, Seth Metzler, Briana (Travis) Stubbs, Keaton Harrison, Amelia (Fernando) Fierros, Quinton Harrison, Jeb (Janelle) Schroeder, Judd (Andrea) Schroeder, and Jate Schroeder(Julie Baker) and YongGang Chang, who has become like a grandchild; and 54 great-grandchildren, Brody, Boone, Berkley, Cabe, Juden, Ridge, Coleson, Brecklyn, Knox, Dresden, Pierson, Braxton, Alexis, Bridger, Jasper, Kylar, Kade, Kenzi, Hunter, Morgan, Cash, Mariah, Rylie, Cruz, Cain, Milayna, Elyza, Adryn, Westin, Baby Smith, Elijah, Zane, Ciera, Sadie, Wade, Kailey, Owen, Wyatt, Bristol, Rory, Branson, Harrison, Collette, D’Angelo, Alayna, Mateo, Madison, Bud, Brooklyn, Maizy, Harper, Asher, Addie Jo, and Baby Schroeder. He also is survived by one brother and his wife, Bob (Millie) Harrison, and one sister, Chic McGuire, many adored nieces and nephews, and special friends Barb and Larry Smith.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Royal Harrison Sr. and Kathryn; daughter and son-in-law, Gina and Mike Metzler; brother and sister-in-law, Royal Harrison Jr. and Phyllis; brother-in-law, Bill McGuire; and brother and sister-in-law, Wayne and Joyce Jack.
There will be a private family interment.
Petersen Funeral Home in Newton is in charge of arrangements.