A Memorial Mass to honor the life of Joe Harrison will be celebrated on Monday May 16 at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 124 Columbus St., Bakersfield, CA. Born on 5-16-1952 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Joe was a loving husband and father, son and brother, “BAGA” (Grandpa), uncle, friend, and employer.
He touched lives in a positive way all his life, with a smile that lit up his face, and a quick wit that could have you laughing to tears. His children inherited that quality. Joe was a successful athlete in his youth and equally successful in his business profession, highly regarded in the industry. With his keen business savvy, Joe always dealt fairly, with integrity, from his employees to his customers. Always highly competitive but operated within the limits of the field or the scope of the business situation. Joe earned the admiration of his family, friends, and colleagues. That was a constant. Joe had a humble heart, with a kind nature. Always seeing things as a “team” effort. His hand was there to help you up with encouragement, bringing out the best in others with a hug or a pat on the back. At times, a handshake sealed the deal. When the family moved from Arlington, Texas to Bakersfield in 1965, he made lifelong friendships while attending O.L.P.H. and Garces High School.
What he treasured most in life came to him in 1970 on the beach of Carpinteria when he met the love of his life, Karen Moore. Married on 3-3-1973, they have spent the past 49 years growing in love and numbers. As dad to son Joe and daughters Kristen and Michelle, his life was enriched proudly watching as they grew, seeing all their greatest triumphs. Seeing each of his children become such good loving parents brought him the most happiness. Joe became “BAGA” to eight precious grandchildren, Jacob, Garrett, Tanner, Harrison, Hayden, Hudsyn, Lundyn and Tatum. Each one had a special place in his heart.
Joe loved the heavy equipment business. Coastline Equipment Co. fed his soul and gave him the best reasons to get up each day. Some may know that Joe’s health had been in decline for several years. His health issues didn’t know who they were dealing with. With the love and support of his family and employees at Coastline Equipment, Joe gave it the fight of his life. Through the help, love and devotion of his son Joe, he was able to go to work and continue his routine of starting the morning coffee for his work family whom he loved so much.
Throughout this entire journey, Joe was supported by his loving wife Karen. Her unwavering devotion protected him. She cared for his every need and made it possible for him to live in comfort. She had made a sacred promise on 3-3-1973 and kept it. He was a lucky man
His sister Teri shared this thought with the family:
“We can’t know the path God has for us,
but the love we give and the love we
receive makes our time on earth special"
Joe…you made it special.
Welcoming Joe in heaven are his parents Joe and Barbara Harrison, brother Jack, father-in-law Fred Moore, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He is survived by his wife Karen, children Joe (Elizabeth) their children Lundyn and Tatum, Kristen Harrison and her sons Jacob, Garrett and Tanner, Michelle Sherrill (Brian) and children, Harrison, Hayden and Hudsyn. Cherished by his sisters Kathy Gargan (John) and Teri Fraser (Greg), and brother, Jim Harrison (PJ) and special brother-in-law Mike Moore.
Eternal thanks to Joe’s children: Joe and wife Elizabeth, Kristen, Michelle and husband Brian, Karen’s life-long friend Joan Pair, and to Mike Moore, Rich Romo, Jim Sakowski, Chod Sill, Jim Etcheverry, Rachell Fanucchi, Darrell Feliz and Elizabeth Oropeza for their unwavering support of Karen and their constant check-ins, all while knowing she would be unable to respond. Also, thanks to Joe’s siblings Kathy, Teri and Jim for their unending love
Thank you to all with texts or calls to Karen, to Gina Fanucchi and Michelle Van Rensselaer at Doughty-Calhoun-O’Meara, and Msgr. Michael Braun. Special thanks to Rich Romo for always being there to update the Garces High community, and his constant support during Joe’s illness. Also, Jim Sakowski for making it possible to have Joe’s services at Our Lady of Perpetual Help where Joe and Karen married.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Joe’s memory would be welcome to Alzheimer’s Association, Lewy Body Dementia or Parkinson’s organization to help find a cure. Thank you.