Jim Harrison of Richland, Oregon was born on August 21, 1937 in Nashville, Tennessee. On November 21, 1975 in Vancouver, Washington he married Dorothy, the love of his life. She was his life-long best friend. Jim cherished, respected and loved her more than anyone or anything in his life.
Jim’s second love was the City of Richland. He discovered the community in the early ‘90s when curiosity about the Brownlee Reservoir drew him to the area. Jim always said that he found home when he saw Eagle Valley. In 1995, the Harrison’s bought a house in Richland and in 2000 they retired and became full time residents.
It was at that time Jim started attending the monthly meetings of the Richland City Council. It was a time when City Hall was a small building that did not exactly sit level to the land. It did not take long before Jim found himself invested in the community. By reputation, he was known for asking questions at meetings that provoked a myriad of emotions from council members of amusement to utter frustration. He found great satisfaction in projecting an opposite point of view. His objective was to encourage councilmembers to forward thinking.
When Jim began serving on the City Council his reputation was solidified as the Councilor who asks the most questions. He always explained that he did so not because he was against projects or ideas, rather because he wanted to know and he also wanted the Council to know as much as possible before making a decision. Jim often said that asking questions and listening to answers is how one learns. He was pleased if he saw frustration. It told him that everyone was thinking, learning and finding answers. He believed firmly that if one did not ask questions, correct answers were not found and nothing was resolved to achieve the best possible solution. He made no secret of the fact that he was not questioning because he was against a project or idea at all. More often than not he was in favor.
Jim Harrison served on the Council because he cared so deeply about Richland and the sustainability of the community. He appreciated, admired and cared for the people he worked with. His dedication to the position of Chair of the Water Department and Sewer Department was his passion. Those Departments were what he considered to be the most vital to Richland’s future. His goal of seeing that the two systems were secure for the residents of Richland before he died was Jim’s self-proclaimed life legacy.
Jim Harrison died on Friday, December 27, 2019 in Boise, Idaho. He was 82 years old when he left for heaven. Jim spent the last days of his life just where he wanted to be, with his beloved wife Dorothy sharing their precious memories.
A traditional funeral service with Military Honors will be held on Saturday January 11, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at the Richland Christian Church with Pastor Shawn Thatcher officiating. Interment at Eagle Valley Cemetery. Friends are invited to join the family for a potluck reception following the service at the Eagle Valley Grange Community room located at the corner of Moody Road and Main Street.
For those who would like to make a memorial donation in memory of Jim, the family suggests the Wounded Warrior Project through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home & Cremation Services PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834. Online condolences can be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.