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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Billy Eugene Harrison, TSgt. USAF (Retired)August 03, 1930 – August 08, 2013
Billy Eugene Harrison, 83, of Easley and husband of Nancy Smith Harrison, passed away Thursday August 8, 2013 at his home after several years’ battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis from Agent Orange.
Mr. Harrison was born in Fulton County, Georgia, the son of the late A.C. “Doc” and Queen Victoria McGehee Harrison. He graduated from Easley High School and joined the U.S. Navy in 1947. He was stationed in Molokai, Hawaii for 18 months where he developed a love for the Hawaiian Islands. He married the late Joleta Osborn of Oklahoma in 1954 and transferred over to the U.S. Air Force, serving a total of 21 1/2 years in the military. He served in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966 as a Helicopter Flight Engineer / Medic after which he retired with the rank of Tech Sergeant in 1968. He received many medals for his part in Air Rescue which was his duty while serving in Vietnam. He and his family moved to Easley upon his retirement from service. In 1969 he began working with the U.S. Post Office and worked mostly in the Greenville area as a carrier. He retired from the Post Office in 1991 after 22 years. After his first wife died in 1984, he traveled back to Hawaii numerous times and met a lot of people there who will miss him.
After he and his present wife, Nancy, married in 1995, they traveled together to Hawaii a total of 29 times. After he was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis he became unable to travel that distance and this was a big disappointment to him. He never stopped loving the islands.
He was baptized into the Pentecostal Holiness faith at a young age and attended Jones Avenue Baptist Church.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Dixie Lynn Coleman, of Rock Hill; two sons, Daryl Harrison (Joni), of Pickens and Bobby Harrison (Chris), of Easley; a sister, Jacqueline Harrison Self (Paul), of Collinsville, Illinois; a brother, Randy Harrison, of Klondike, Texas; grandchildren, Jason and Jordan Coleman, Joshua, Jacob, Kari Jo, Jody and Jack Harrison and one great-grandchild, Tabitha Renae Harrison, of Virginia Beach, VA.
He was preceded in death by his first wife and mother of his children, Joleta Osborn Harrison, in 1984 after 29 wonderful years of marriage; two brothers, George Harrison and Bobby Harrison; a beloved aunt, Pat Beard of Collinsville, Illinois, who was always special to him; and his maternal and paternal grandparents.
Funeral services will be 2:00 PM Saturday in the Chapel of Robinson Funeral Home – Powdersville Road, with the Reverend Ronald Moore and the Reverend Dr. Roger Couch officiating. Entombment, with full military honors, will follow in the Hillcrest Memorial Park Mausoleum.
Visitation will be from 12:30 PM until 1:45 PM Saturday, prior to the service, at the funeral home.
The family requests that casual attire be worn for the funeral service.
The family is at his home.
Memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice or to Gideon’s International, P.O. Box 51064, Piedmont, SC 29673-2064.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com or in person at Robinson Funeral Home – Powdersville Road, which is assisting the family.
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