Edwin John Harrison, Jr

Edwin John “Jack” Harrison, Jr, 73, of Newtown died peacefully at Danbury Hospital on May 30, the 50th wedding anniversary of his marriage to Beryl. He was born in Philadelphia May 1, 1941, the only son of Anna Peterson Harrison and Edwin John Harrison. His uncle was Eric Knight, author of Lassie Come Home, and he often talked of Eric’s dog, Toots, a Border collie that was the original Lassie.

Mr Harrison graduated from Ursinus College, Collegeville, Penn., with a BS in political science and history in 1963. He was admitted to Villanova Law School, but joined the US Navy and was commissioned an ensign at Pensacola Naval Air Station in 1964. 

He married Beryl, whom he had met at Ursinus, on Memorial Day 1964. He served his three years in the Navy in San Diego, running the first computer-controlled Forward Air Control and Surveillance Facility, until 1967.

He left the service as a lieutenant and accepted a position in promotion development with Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio, where sons Derek and Trent were born. He joined Calgon Consumer Products in Pittsburgh as director of promotion development in 1974, and then was recruited by Marketing Corporation of America in Westport in 1976. He progressed from managing director of the Consulting Division to director and then vice president of newspaper co-op couponing, although he often introduced himself as a “coupon peddler.” He left MCA in 1986 to form SalesSource, his own consulting company.

Mr Harrison loved New England and found his true home in Newtown, a town he described to his family as a picturesque New England town with a ship’s mast in the center. He was active in the formation of the Newtown Soccer Club, coached several teams, and took the Newtown Gunners to win the Connecticut State Championship in 1981. He was proud of his boys and their successes, both on the soccer field and in their lives. Many often stopped by to see “Coach.”

When he retired, he enjoyed spending time on his boat on Laurel Lake in Fitzwilliam, N.H., and attending sheepdog trials in Scotland, Wales, Canada and the United States, usually accompanied by one or more of his Border collies.

Despite health issues in the past few years, he remained a fan of soccer and was pleased to see two of his grandsons, Owen and Luke, excel at the sport. His skills as a high school baseball and football player were passed to grandson, Tyler, and his love of performing in musicals, especially Gilbert and Sullivan, was passed to his only granddaughter, Morgan.

His wife of 50 years; his son Derek and daughter-in-law Clare, and grandsons Owen and Luke, of Warwick, N.Y.; son Trent and daughter-in-law Cindy, and their children Tyler and Morgan, of Newtown; sister-in-law Ruth Matthews; and two cousins survive Mr Harrison. His three beloved Border collies will also miss him. But Mr Harrison but has now joined his parents — and three more previously owned Border collies.

A service of remembrance will take place at the Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street, Newtown, Saturday, June 7, at 3 pm, with reception to follow.

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