Official Obituary of

Jean (Evans) Harrison

October 23, 1929 ~ February 18, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Jean Harrison Obituary

Jean Evans Harrison, 94, passed on Sunday evening, February 18, 2024.

Velma Jean Evans was born in Tupelo, Mississippi October 23, 1929 – the day before The Great Crash of the

stock market - to Lowry Boyd Evans and Velma Irene Waters. In the early 1930’s Jean’s parents and older

sister, Sue Francis, moved to Memphis TN where her dad opened the first refrigeration business. A third

daughter, Kathryn Louise, was born into the family in 1935. Jean graduated Central High School in Memphis

and in 1948 began attending Christian College (now Columbia College) in Columbia MO, a two-year girls’

school, graduating in May 1950 with an associate’s degree in French.

While at Christian College Jean met University of Missouri student Donn Ross Harrison Jr. of Jefferson City MO

on a blind date. Donn played trumpet at MU during the Big Band era playing numerous weekend dances.

Jean’s parents had to give her college written permission for her to stay out after curfew to attend his dances.

They were pinned (a fraternity tradition) before ever having a night date and were engaged in October 1949.

They married July 24, 1950 in Memphis and honeymooned on White Lake in Whitehall MI. Donn had spent

childhood summers at his maternal grandparents’ lake house. Donn and Jean began married life in Eldon

where his paternal grandparents, William Mason Harrison and Nancy Mercersmit, lived at 501 E. Newton, a

home they built and which became the residence of Donn and Jean from 1950-2000. They moved to Osage

Beach. Jean moved back to Eldon in 2019.

Both Jean and Donn played significant roles in the Eldon community. They maintained an active role in Eldon

during Donn’s 54-year career at Citizens Bank of Eldon & Versailles. Jean was a gracious hostess frequently

welcoming guests into their home in connection with Donn’s membership and leadership roles with the

Missouri Pilots Association, the Missouri Independent Bankers Association (President, Director Emeritus), the

Lions Club (District Governor), Eldon Rotary Club, the Eldon Chamber of Commerce, the Eldon Golf Course, the

Memorial Community Hospital (Board Member), Jefferson City’s Kapital Kicks Dance Band, the Eldon

Community Center (Board Member) and in local government as Mayor.

They traveled extensively in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada, the Bahamas and

Caribbean. They hosted American Field Service foreign exchange students from Chile, Finland, and Brazil as

well as international bankers. They were recognized by the Lake of the Ozarks Fine Arts Council for their

service to the arts in the Lake of the Ozarks area. They were original members of the Friday Night Bridge

Group organized in 1950 and played in the AFS Bridge Marathon. Jean was a 74-year member of the Eldon

Methodist Church where she served in numerous roles. She was a member of Evening Euterpean and the PEO

Chapter CH. She served in leadership roles for decades with Meals on Wheels and Citizens Bank of Eldon &

Versailles. She was the behind-the-scenes organizer not only for her husband but for her children in

numerous sporting activities, scouting, Bible School, spring show, music competitions, summer family trips,

destination family Christmases, and Harrison family reunions. She hosted parties celebrating milestones in the

lives of family and friends of all ages. With Harrison family roots dating back to the 1830’s in Miller County,

she contributed history and photographs to the Eldon Centennial Celebration & Time Capsule and the Miller

County Historic Society. She was an accomplished seamstress and knitter; taught tole painting; mastered

Sudoku; was an avid reader and was competitive at the bridge table. Most of all she was a master of the

kitchen and famous for her dinner rolls!

Donn and Jean raised four children in Eldon. Donn preceded her in death in 2004. She is survived by their

four children: D. Ross Harrison III (Shirley) of Albany GA, Peggy Harrison (Jeff Holmes) of Centennial CO, Jill

Mergelkamp (Michael) of Barnett, and Scott Harrison (Lisa) of Eldon. She had six grandchildren: Donn R.

Harrison IV (Audra) of Eldon, Jacque Harrison (Mindy) of Crestview FL, Strat Harrison (Courtney) of Albany GA,

Natalie Harrison of Albany GA, Justin Uptergrove (Cheyanne) of Eldon, and Corbin Harrison of Eldon; and four

great grandchildren: Taylor and Theo Harrison of Crestview FL. Baker and Ellie Rose Uptergrove of Eldon.

The visitation will be Tuesday, February 27, at 4:00 at the Eldon United Methodist Church followed by a Sunset

Celebration of Life at 5:00 pm. There will be a private internment with the family. In lieu of flowers the

family requests donations be made in Eldon to Our Father’s Table or the Eldon United Methodist Church.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean (Evans) Harrison, please visit our floral store.

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February 27, 2024

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Eldon United Methodist Church

Eldon, MO 65026

Celebration of Life
February 27, 2024

5:00 PM
Eldon United Methodist Church

Eldon, MO 65026


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