Leslie David “Les” Harrison of Martindale, Texas, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, passed away suddenly on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, at the age of 72. He was born Jan. 27, 1944, in McAllen, Texas, to Eugene and Ruby (Fairchild) Harrison. A sixth-generation Texan, his great-great-grandfather fought with Sam Houston in the battle of San Jacinto and was t
he last surviving veteran of the Texas revolution.
Les graduated from Jourdanton High School. He was the quarterback of the football team for four years, number 10 on his jersey, but number one in the hearts of all who knew him. He attended and graduated from SWTSU (now Texas State University) where he met Loraine Harper. He walked up to her on the first day of summer school registration, asked her if the seat next to her was taken, and they’ve been side by side ever since. They were married on Aug. 26, 1967.
Les was the owner and operator of Harrison Properties, which he started in 1990. He attributed the success he achieved in business to working with his staff as a team and family. Prior to that he was a banker at the Lockhart State Bank and First Lockhart National Bank. He was a dedicated servant of his community, serving as President of Lockhart Kiwanis Club, chairman of Chisolm Trail Roundup and member of the Chamber of Commerce, Lockhart Little League Association President and a coach for many teams. He was a charter member of the Martindale Volunteer Fire Department and was their first fire chief. He was also a Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Martindale.
Les was a devoted follower of Christ and over his lifetime was a member of First Lockhart Baptist Church, Hyde Park Baptist Church and Martindale Methodist Church, where he served as choir director and worship leader. He loved singing, connecting with people, and greatly valued his involvement with the Emmaus Community. He was a light to everyone who knew him, whether they’d known him for decades or minutes.
Les never met a stranger and had a tremendous impact on so many. Exceptionally funny, gracious, and charismatic, Les was a wellspring of joy, always ready to share a smile and a joke with anyone…and he was always the life of the party. A great dancer, a clever prankster, he was the very definition of gregarious. He enjoyed every sport and loved visiting his hunting ranch in London, Texas. He was also profoundly generous and went out of his way to encourage people. Hundreds of high school football athletes from different teams, towns and decades know him fondly as the Saturday morning film session donut provider, cheerleader, strategist and friend.
Les had character and showed deep commitment to his community, his children, and his wife. A second dad to many, Les treated others like his own family, welcoming everyone into the Harrison home, including five young people who lived with them over the years. We will miss his presence, his generosity, his humor, and his humility. Our world shines a bit darker without the light, laughter and love that Les brought into every room no matter the circumstance or situation. Even now, we can hear him saying, “Cheer up! I’ve had worse cuts on my lip and just kept on a-whistlin’.”
We cannot yet envision a world without his joy, humor, song and compassion.
His parents and four brothers preceded him in death.
Les is survived by his devoted wife of almost 50 years, Loraine (Harper) Harrison; son David Harrison, Jr., and his wife, Laci, and their children Hannah, Harper and Hadley; two daughters, Laura Harrison Mayes and husband, James, and their son, Harry and Tish Harrison Warren and her husband, Jonathan, and their children, Raine and Flannery; brother Bo Harrison and wife, Susan; and sister, Annie Laura Martin. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Family will receive friends at Pennington Funeral Home, 5 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. A Celebration of Les’ life will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, at the First Lockhart Baptist Church in Lockhart, with the Rev. Don Duvall and the Rev. Gary Rodgers officiating. Interment will follow at the Nancy Martindale Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Martindale Methodist Church or Friends For Colombia (www.friendsforcolombia.org).
Arrangements by Pennington Funeral Home, San Marcos, Texas, (512) 353-4311.