Obituary: Kenneth Elmo Harrison

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Jan. 5, 1936 ~ July 27, 2020

Ken Harrison

Ken died peacefully surrounded by family at his summer home in Meeker, Colorado, on July 27, 2020, at age 84.

Born Jan. 5, 1936, in Rifle, Colorado, to Lambert Elmo and Ruth Murdock Harrison, little brother “buddy” to older sisters Shirley and Ruth. The family moved to Filer in southern Idaho early on where he grew up and graduated from Filer High School in 1954. Ken went on to graduate from the University of Idaho with a BA degree in wildlife biology and was the first in his family to achieve that accomplishment. He served in the United States Army and was stationed in South Korea where he was a radio communications operator. 

He was married to Sharon Wilcoxson July 5, 1959. They later divorced in 1978, but remained friends. From this union came three children, Debbie, Scott and Greg.

Ken went to work for the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Shoshone, Idaho, and spent the next 34 years at several mid- and high-level positions. In 1973, he was the first Area Manager for the Kemmerer, Wyoming, region and several years later, including stints in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C., retired in 1995 as the State of Utah Deputy Director for the BLM.

Ken was an avid outdoorsman. Camping, hunting and fishing with his red canoe and RVing with family for weeks at a time throughout the country was part of his retirement. He was an accomplished artist of many mediums including drawing and advanced woodworking. His nature drawings were published in federal BLM brochures. Ken loved to bowl and did so competitively for many decades. He was captain of the 1971 Nevada State Championship team.

Ken possessed an extreme level of dedication to his family and friends throughout his life. He turned into a little kid again when he became a grand and great-grandpa. All of his family meant the world to him. He will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by everyone that had the honor of knowing him. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lambert Elmo and Ruth Helen Harrison, sister Shirley Patterson, and beloved youngest son, Greg Patrick, in 2019.

He is survived by sister Ruth Thomas (Walt), daughter Debbie Harrison Morlan (Phil), son Shott Harrison, grandchildren Gregory Harrison (Sonia), Devin Neff (Jim), Shelbey Mitchell (Morgan), Lindsay Harrison, Caleigh Morlan, great-grandchildren Colten Mitchell, Amelia Mitchell, Aaron Harrison, Yari Harrison, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers please donate to any Veterans’ organization.