Mrs. Harrison was born on January 13, 1924 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to the late Walter and Ella Maher.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Dr. Lowell H. Harrison. Mrs. Harrison is survived by her sister-in-law Barbara “Bobbie” Nation Jackson of Owensboro; two nieces, Nancy Nation Barnard and Laura Nation Shipp; three nephews, Allan Harvey (Vicki), Dr. Mark Harvey (Ellen), and Paul Nation (Beverly); and many great-nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Harrison (Penny) graduated from Stratford High School in Connecticut in 1941 and from Bates College in Maine in 1945 with a major in history. After graduation Penny taught at the Berwick Academy, and then began graduate work in history at New York University’s Washington Square College in 1946. While working at the Admissions Office of NYU she met Lowell H. Harrison, and they married on December 23, 1948 at Washington Square Methodist Church. Penny and Lowell lived in Greenwich Village until 1951 when they moved to London on Lowell’s Fulbright Scholarship. From 1952 to 1967 they lived in Canyon, Texas, where Lowell taught at West Texas State University. Penny completed a MA degree in history at WTSU in 1958 and her thesis, “Frank Paul Sauerwein, Artist of the Southwest” became a major part of the book “The Life of Frank Paul Sauerwein”, which was published in 2002. While at WTSU Penny was active in the American Association of University Women, in the formation of a foreign film series, and in the establishment of the “Texas” outdoor drama, which is still being performed annually in Palo Duro Canyon outside of Canyon, Texas. The Harrisons moved to Bowling Green in 1967, where Penny served as the manuscripts librarian at the Kentucky Library of Western Kentucky University until she retired in 1986. While Working at WKU, Penny earned her second MA degree in Library Science and did special archival study at the University of Wisconsin. She was active in forming the Kentucky Council on Archives and she held multiple offices in the organization, including being named Fellow of the Council in 1987. Penny also served on the early WKU Faculty Senate.
Funeral Services will be held Monday, May 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm at Johnson-Vaughn-Phelps Funeral Home in Bowling Green with Burial in Fairview Cemetery. Visitation is scheduled from 12:00 pm to the time of service at the Funeral Home.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to the Lowell H. Harrison Scholarship Fund, College Heights Foundation, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, 42101.