Eli Harrison

Eli HarrisonEli E. Harrison

Eli E. Harrison passed away peacefully Oct. 16, 2012. He was 91.

A memorial service will be held on Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. at the Masonic Lodge in Ridgecrest.

Eli was born on March 21, 1921, in Sallisaw, Okla. He served in the Merchant Marines in World War II and traveled all over the world. He loved telling stories from his adventures.

He married Barbara, the love of his life and his dancing partner. Their marriage lasted 57 happy years. Their family includes three children, Daniel, Sandra, and Courtney. Eli was the epitome of the strong, quiet type. He was a man of few words but deep wisdom. He was an inspiration to his family and those close to him. He possessed a keen wit and wonderful, dry sense of humor. He was simple in many ways and wonderfully complex in others.

He was the guy his family counted on for answers from algebra to spelling to how to fix everything, and of course the deep questions of philosophy. Eli read thousands of books in his lifetime. He loved the music of his youth and was a terrific singer and dancer. He had a delightful smile and generously shared it, especially with his four granddaughters.

Eli was a Past Master of I.W.V. Masonic Lodge No. 684 Free and Accepted Masons. Those who knew his commitment and dedication to the work recognized him as the consummate ritualist and an outstanding supporter of the lodge he loved. He diligently learned the components of the work and was known as truly one of the best.

He was a Ridgecrest resident for 57 years, retiring from the Naval Weapons Station at China Lake in 1983 after spending the last years as the supervisor of the outside machine dhop in Building 177.

Barbara said one of her most precious memories was when he was in the hospital the last time. “He looked up at me and said, ‘I just wish I could dance with you one more time.’ I asked if he remembered our song, and he did. It was ‘It Had to Be You.’ He sang it to me, every verse, every word. That was so special,” she said.

In addition to Barbara, he is survived by his three children, Daniel, Sandra and Courtney, and Courtney’s wife Kari; granddaughters Alexandra Harrison, Ellen Harrison, Alice Cornelius and Tori Harrison; grandsons Brenton Cornelius and Jeff Cornelius and great grandson Venice Harrison; his faithful companion Jake; and three sisters living outside the area.

He was one of a kind and is missed dearly.

Submitted by the family of Eli E. Harrison

Story First Published: 2012-12-12