The Mercury News Weekend
Mary Theresa Harrison
June 12, 1928 to March 29, 2023 Los Gatos, California
Mary T. Harrison passed away peacefully at her home on the morning of Wednesday, March 29, 2023.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, Edward Joseph Harrison, her mother Alice and father Hugo, brothers Herb Mayr and Anthony Mayr, stepsister Marilyn Werlhof and in-laws Harry and Ruth Harrison and Jim and Mary Ellen Keegan (Harrison). She is survived by her son, Eric and daughter-in-law Kristi, grandchildren Spencer, Mathew and Sara of Los Gatos, CA, brothers Robert Mayr of Monterey, CA, Alan Mayr of Phoenix, AZ and Jim Mayr of San Diego, CA and many, many adored and loved nieces, nephews, cousins - relatives on both sides of the family and close friends and neighbors.
Mary was born in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin on a mild spring day on June 12, 1928, just prior to the great depression. Like so many families, they headed west in the mid 1930’s and settled in California. First in Kerman, CA and then later in Red Bluff, CA where her mom and step-dad, Hal established a farm and raised their children and many farm animals and dogs including a beloved Collie that the siblings believed should eat at the table with the humans.
When she was nineteen, she attended nursing school at St. Joseph Nursing School in San Francisco with one of her best life-long friends, Rosemary, later joined by close friends Delores and Claire. After graduation, the four of them headed to Hawaii and worked for three years at Queens Hospital in Honolulu, HI. She was incredibly fond of her time living in Hawaii, which fostered many great memories, incredible stories, and a life-long connection to the Islands. Mary stayed friends with Rosemary, Delores, and Claire for the rest of her life – friendships that lasted for over 70 years…
Upon returning from Hawaii in the late 50’s, she worked as a nurse at UC San Francisco and lived out in the Avenues near Judah and Golden Gate Park. She met Edward J. Harrison who was a High School Teacher in Emeryville, California. They actually met at the West Shore of Lake Tahoe on an arranged double date, although they were originally set up with the other person’s date, apparently sparks flew and the laws of attraction took over.
Edward and Mary were married in 1960 and originally settled in Walnut Creek, CA. In 1963 they moved to San Jose and then to Los Gatos in 1968 building a life and a new house in the South Bay where peach and apricot orchards still dominated the landscape at the time.
They both remained in their respective occupations for over three decades – Mary as a nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Gatos and Edward as a History Teacher and Baseball Coach at Wilcox High School in Santa Clara – interesting times for sure through the late sixties, seventies and eighties before retirement and as you might imagine, the memories and the stories are grand.
After retirement they traveled extensively and for several years, the only time their son, Eric saw them in person was picking them up and dropping them off at SJO or SFO. Luckily, they had this time to enjoy each other and enjoy the world. Via these travels they were able to reconnect with many relatives and friends on both sides of the pond, most notably in Ireland, England, and Scotland. Mary remained very active after Edward passed and enjoyed managing her properties and spending time with her grandchildren and her Schnauzers, Emma and Sophie.
As per her wishes, the family will be hosting a viewing and daytime “Wake” at Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills at 615 North Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95030 at noon to 2:00pm on Saturday, April 8th followed by a celebration of life reception at her residence.