Paul died in Chapel Hill on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Paul was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on July 9, 1944 to Dorothy Port Harrison and Thomas Theodore Harrison.
Paul is survived by his wife, Cora, daughter Becca, son-in-law Ian Chodos of Riverside, Connecticut, and three grandchildren: Sienna, Hailey and Mila, whom he loved without limits. He is also survived by two siblings, Ellen Harrison of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, and Ed Harrison and sister-in-law Bert Harrison of Scottsdale, Arizona. Paul is preceded in death by his daughter, Julia.
The best decision in Paul’s life was to marry Cora in March 1970. Together, they made a life of love, caring, mutual support and humor to help make life’s difficult moments more manageable.
The best parts of Paul’s life focused on his children, grandchildren, Cora, family and friends. So, it was beyond description, almost beyond one’s ability to survive, when Paul lost his beloved younger child, Julia, in November 2001 during her sophomore year at university. He survived this life altering experience with the support of his wife Cora, daughter Becca, sister Ellen and many friends. After Julia’s death, Paul focused a considerable part of his life’s energy on the delivery of vaccine preventable childhood illnesses.
Volunteerism became a big part of Paul’s life with a focus on the least advantaged in our society. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps (Micronesia) and on the staff of the Peace Corps Agency in Washington, DC. In the Triangle, he served as a volunteer innkeeper at the Durham Ronald McDonald house, as a volunteer swim instructor for handicapped students in Chapel Hill, as a volunteer intake screener at the Wake County Open Door Clinic, and as a member of the boards of Urban Ministries of Wake County, The Triangle Community Foundation and Judea Reform Congregation in Durham.
In his spare time, Paul enjoyed painting landscape scenes and still life images for the past 50 years, kayaking and summers in Cape Cod with Becca and her family.
Paul worked in a variety of settings--Peace Corps volunteer and staff director; NC Office of Rural Health Services, Director, Physician Recruitment; Assistant Dean, Trinity College, Duke University; Director, Physician Relations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC; Executive Director of the Wake County Medical Society and Executive Director of Community Care of Wake and Johnston Counties.
Written by Paul Harrison.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, November 19, 2023 at Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 W. Cornwallis Rd., Durham, NC 27705.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Paul may be directed to:
Duke HomeCare & Hospice
Judea Reform Congregation- Social Action or Music Fund
Helping refugees find welcome, safety and opportunity.