Cathirine F. Harrison
Cathirine Faye Smith, born on a Tuesday, Sept. 17th, in the year of 1935, was an extraordinary woman. She was incredibly beautiful, tenacious, energetic, vivacious, multi-talented, supportive and passionate. Her fierce love for her husband, Frank Harrison, and their five children, Jim, Wanda, Kenneth, Ed and Terry, made her a force to be reckoned with. She was a fighter who had eyes in the back of her head. At times, she could be positively terrifying… all 5’3 of her.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Kitty was already a rare beauty. An only child, she was doted upon by her loving parents, Arlie and Louisa Boultinghouse, who gave her the lifelong nickname of Kitty, but also frequently tenderly called her Kitten. Social and super competitive, Kitty enjoyed many activities while a student at Uvalde High. She was a member of the Future Homemakers of America (FHA) as a freshman through her senior year. Freshman year she was also a member of the Pep Squad. During her sophomore year through her senior year she played the clarinet in the band, and was an All Star Band Member during her junior year. Also during her junior year through her senior year, Kitty played for the Uvalde High School basketball team, and is described as a fierce and awesome player. During her senior year she was also both a twirler and a member of the speech club, prior to graduating from Uvalde High in 1954.
Kitty married the love of her life, Frank Harrison, on June 18th, 1959. Together, they raised their large family and ran their family owned business, Harrison Body and Radiator, for 50 years, during which time for many of those years Kitty managed the bookkeeping. During those years, Kitty also owned and ran her own jewelry business. A stickler for manners, growing up in the Harrison household meant that every meal had to be eaten at the family kitchen table, where their children were schooled nightly from the “Manners Book.”
Their family loved sports… loved them. For many years, Frank coached their sons’ baseball teams, while Kitty coached their daughter’s softball team. She never missed a single twirlers dance recital, a sports or school event, or church activity in which any of their five children were participants. She was deeply proud of her children. The love that Kitty and Frank held for children was not exclusive to their own five children. They helped to raise/house/parent/love more than one of their own children’s friends in need of care. Kids from Frank’s baseball teams would sometimes ask that Kitty come and cheer for them at their own high school baseball games, because she was such an amazing supportive, loyal and true fan of theirs. Even out of town players who sometimes stayed with the Harrisons would return year after year… just to see their “Mom.” Some of them even returned years later with their families to introduce them to “Mom.”
Her children remember Kitty’s love of dancing, and how enchanting it was to watch their loving parents dance in each other’s arms. They also remember their mother’s zest for fishing. To her children, Kitty Harrison was the very definition of “Mother” and the mother by whom they measured all other mothers. To her grandchildren, Kitty was patient, kind and exceedingly generous with both her time and resources. A gourmet cook, she delighted in sharing her love of cooking with them, always encouraging and praising them in their culinary efforts. She made time to teach them to garden, and to help them learn to identify bugs, spiders, reptiles, amphibians, birds, to love cats and dogs, and to appreciate all nature. She continued to cheerfully serve her family and friends throughout her life in spite of debilitating knee replacement surgeries and arthritic finger treatments. Kitty could at times be a little excessive in her love of competition. She greatly enjoyed playing board and card games with her family and friends, but if it looked as if though she were going to lose at a game, she would firmly insist that it was because another player was cheating. A proud grandmother, she rejoiced in the successes of all her grandchildren and never ceased to express concern and assist with their wellbeing. Always a friend and a teacher to her grandchildren, Kitty Harrison was, in their eyes, the very best Grandma in the world. She was very much a hands-on grandmother. Put simply, there was nothing that she would not do for them nor anything of which she would see them deprived. Her friends remember Kitty’s love of laughter, her wicked sense of humor and her fierce loyalty to them.
In later years, Kitty and Frank were able to enjoy some travel, and often took along one or more of their grandchildren, opening their young eyes to a larger world, and showing them places of which they had only ever dreamed. She also became very involved in politics and worked tirelessly for many years as a local election judge in Uvalde, and received a Texas State Award for her efforts on behalf of the Republican Party. She continued her love of card games and started a Bridge group, for whom she enjoyed preparing delicious hors d’oeuvres to serve at their gatherings. She remained ardently loyal to the San Antonio Basketball Spurs, so much so that when she later acquired a cockatiel she taught it to sing “Jesus Loves Me” and to say “Go Spurs!”
We lost Kitty to advanced COPD in the evening of Jan. 26th, 2018. We are comforted only in our absolute faith and knowledge that she now sits at the throne of our beloved Savior, the Lord Jesus, where she has been reunited with her husband of 53 years, Frank, and with the son lost to them long ago, Kenneth, and where she is further surrounded by other family and friends gone from us before her. She will be there to greet us when our own appointed times of death call us home to our final resting place, as well.
Kitty Harrison is preceded in death by her parents, Arlie and Louisa Boultinghouse, her husband Frank Harrison and their son, Kenneth Harrison.
She is survived by four children, Jim Harrison and wife, Kathy, of San Jose, California, Wanda Brown of Devine, Texas, Ed Harrison of Galveston, Texas and Terry Harrison and wife, Deanna, of Wimberley, Texas. She is further survived by 14 grandchildren; Cathy Balke and husband, Michael, David Low, Lyndsay Taylor, Jennifer Harrison, Josh Harrison and wife, Lilli, Reed Harrison, Hannah Allmon and husband, Chris, Annie Harrison, Terry Harrison II, Hallie Harrison, Hendryx Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, Rome and Aurora Harrison, and 8 great grandchildren; Vann Balke, Paige Balke, Cole Balke, Kaitlyn Low, Dreanna Low, Cade Low, Harrison Low, and Daisy Mae Armstrong.
Burial services for Kitty Harrison will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, where Kitty and Frank served as members throughout their lives. Location is 762 W. Getty, Uvalde, Texas. Services begin on Saturday, Feb. 3rd, at 10 a.m. and will be followed by the graveside service at Hillcrest Cemetery in Uvalde, located on Hwy 90. A reception will follow afterward in the Fellowship Hall at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Prior to services, friends may view and say farewell to Kitty at Rushing-Estes-Knowles funeral home located in Uvalde at 220 S. Getty, during the afternoon on Friday, Feb. 2nd. Pallbearers will be Josh Harrison, Terry Harrison II, Reed Harrison, David Low, Hendryx Harrison and Ben Harrison. Honorary pallbearers are Michael Balke, Steve Balke, Vann Balke, Jim Surber and Larry Boales.
Kitty loomed large in the lives of her and family and friends. Another breathtakingly bright star lost to us. Oh, how we shall miss her!
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, www.stjude.org.
The preceding is a paid obituary.