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Jo Ann Pirtle Harrison, 1931–2020

Thursday, December 3, 2020
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LUBBOCK—Jo Ann Pirtle Harrison, 89, formerly of Spur, went to meet her maker on November 21, 2020. She was born in Anton, Texas, on March 20, 1931, to J.B. “Doc” and Veo Pirtle. Her grandparents, Dr. Jenkins Pirtle and his wife, nurse Beulah Pirtle, presided over the birth.

Jo Ann attended Coleman schools and graduated in 1948, having played cornet in the band and being a member of the National Honor Society. She married her high school sweetheart, Grady Joe Harrison, on October 14, 1949. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in October 2019.

She had college hours from Texas Tech University and Western Texas College in Snyder. She spent nine years in banking as a secretary of Coleman State Bank in Coleman, Texas; Citizens National Bank in Abilene, Texas; and First National Bank in Lubbock, Texas. She was the advertising director for the Texas Spur for 35 years. She was a two-time state president of the Texas State Welfare Board, serving in some capacity of the Child Protective Services in local, regional and state offices for 19 years. As a result of her volunteer work with children, Jo Ann was awarded the highest citizen award in the state of Texas for females, “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” by then governor Mark White. She was voted Citizen of the Year in 1984 in the Spur community. She is an Honorary Life-Time Member of the Spur Ex-Students Association.

Jo Ann was active in the Spur First United Methodist Church. She served as chair of the administrative council, was a member of almost every church committee in various years, was choir director and sang alto, organized a community-wide choir to sing Christmas carols annually, and held every posi tion in the United Methodist Women’s organization.

She was a voracious reader and an avid bridge player.

Survivors include her two sons, Pastor Joe Charles “Chuck” Harrison (Nancy) and David Malone Harrison (Amy); a brother, Dr. Rodney Pirtle (Beth); a brother-in-law, Ken McNabb; a sister-in-law, Stella Harrison; and grandchildren Amanda Davis (John), Loeri Harrison, Heather Cruce (Jason), Eric Harrison (Hailey), Haley McIntosh (Colin); and three great-grandchildren, Joleigh Cruce, Jaxton Cruce and Hatch McIntosh.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Grady Joe; and her younger sister, Carolyn McNabb.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the Spur First United Methodist Church, to the Dickens County Friends of the Library, toward efforts to eliminate child abuse and neglect, or to a charity of choice.

Graveside services are scheduled for Saturday, December 5, at 1 p.m. at the Coleman City Cemetery. The public is invited, with COVID precautions practiced.

Honorary pallbearers are Benny Ball, Bluecats, Mike Collett, Dr. Marvin and Marilyn Crawford, Rev. Archie Echols, Sparky Eckles, Jerry Flournoy, Brad Glenn, Brookdale Assisted Living executive director Ty Haulk, Gary Key, Woodie McArthur, Dr. Floyd Pirtle, Coach Dwayne Sexton, Eric Swenson, FUMC Women’s Adult Sunday School Class—Barbara Eckles leader, Women’s Bridge Club.