John “Walt” Harrison, Col USAF, Ret., “Headed West” on October 23, 2023.

Colonel John W. Harrison slipped the surly bonds of earth on October 23, 2023, at his home with his family. Colonel Harrison was born in Sumter, SC to Evadne and Nick Harrison on April 27, 1933. He graduated from Edmund High School in 1951 and attended Clemson A & M University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture in 1955. One year before graduating from Clemson Walt married his long-time sweetheart, Ann Lowder from Oswego, SC. The couple welcomed one son, Bruce & one daughter, Lisa.

Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force to serve a two-year ROTC commitment, but his immediate love and passion of flying altered his plans and he elected to serve a military career. Walt flew fighter aircraft over a 30-year career, including T-33, F-84, F-100, F-104 & 0-1 with over 4500 hours including 735 combat hours in Vietnam.

His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters; the Meritorious Service Medal with one leaf cluster; the Air Medal with twenty oak leaf clusters; the Army Commendation Medal; the Presidential Unit Citation; the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with V Device and three leaf clusters; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze Service Stars; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross.

Walt had the personality and natural charisma to make friends anywhere he went and under any circumstance. He was a man who had many lifetime stories which he loved to share with his friends and family. He was a truly great man whose impact will be forever felt by his family, who loved him dearly. His ability to sacrifice, provide support and advice, forgive and love will be forever be engrained in all he knew.

Walt is survived by his wife Ann Harrison of 69 years, son Bruce Harrison, daughter Lisa Softley and grandsons Ken Enhelder and Ryan Softley , five great grandkids ; Gage, Zack, Addison, Rush & Lucy.

Services with full Military Honors [were held] at the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery at 23029 N. Cave Creek Rd at 12:30 pm on November 20, 2023.

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