In memory of
June Rowell Harrison
In memory of
June Rowell Harrison
June Rowell Harrison was born to Rex and Nannie Rowell on March 18, 1934 in Geneva, AL. Mama grew up in Geneva until World War II moved her family to Panama City where shipbuilding brought employment to her mother and downtown was ideal for Rex Drug Shop, owned by her father, a druggist, and which offered Mama her first job as a child. Mama attended Panama Grammar School and, with all of her friends, then Bay High School, which sat on the city's northern border reared against the sky. At Bay High, she played first chair clarinet and student conductor. She graduated Valedictorian in 1952 and went to David Lipscomb College until transferring to the University of Florida in order to pursue her pharmacy degree. Mama graduated second in her class at the University of Florida after making straight A's with the exception of a C+ she received in Sr. Lifesaving for struggling to retrieve her large swimming coach due to her 97 pound weight. Following graduation, Mama married our Daddy, William Gerald Harrison, her boyfriend since they were in Bay High Million Dollar Band clarinet section. Daddy graduated from the University of Florida and Emory then opened his dental practice in 1959 on Beach Drive. Two blocks away on Harrison Avenue at 4th Street Mama took on new responsibilities of Rex Drug Shop working with her father. Her father died shortly thereafter while she was carrying her first child, Julie Paige Harrison, who was later born prematurely. Julie grew up in June's shadow and was always Mama's closest friend. Mama and Daddy moved to a new house they had built for their planned family on Marie Ann Blvd. Mama continued to work at Rex Drug Shop and when her first son was born she named him, William G. Harrison, Jr. in honor of Daddy. Her second son, Rex E. Harrison was born and named after her father, Rex Rowell. Mama closed Rex Drug Shop in order to raise her children and Daddy's dental office moved to 11th Street about 10 years later. As her children attended Oakland Terrace, Mama became involved in everything anywhere related to the growing of her children. Bible study, singing and developing faith in God was the center of her parenting. Mama stayed home with her children until Rex started attending Bay High School at which point she returned to her love of pharmacy at Gulf Coast Hospital for 26 years, where she became the pharmacy director. In January, 1985, her treasured mother, Nannie Rowell, passed away at 83. Nannie was universally loved as the sweetest, most gentle and kind soul. Nannie's influence on Mama and Mama's family continues. Her love for helping people and lifting the lives of others had fertile ground in the growing hospital. She was stricken with malignant melanoma, which required significant surgery and hospitalization, a challenge we all thought would be the biggest of her life. Mama's children continued to mature and eventually all returned home, where they all married their spouses in the same ceremony on June 11, 1988. Julie married James H. Mullins, William married Susan Morgan and Rex married Cathy Rivard. Mama loved Jim, Susan and Cathy as much as she did her own children. Then came her greatest joys of her life with the births of her grandchildren: Cooper, Mallory, Ben, Jacob, Morgan, Caleb, Reagan and Kennedy. She was blessed when all of her children and grandchildren moved within walking distance of her home. There were no greater experiences in her life than the years she spent with her grandchildren. She retired her pharmacy career in order to be fully available in the lives of her grandchildren and to be used in whatever ways the Lord saw fit. Shortly after retiring and weeks following the birth of her last grandchild in 2006, she was stricken with life threatening spinal meningitis. She experienced a miraculous recovery and her last 10 years were always considered a bonus. Mama and Daddy began a deliberate longterm adventure to experience with their children and grandchildren the many wonderous marvels of the world. We traveled to sites of events portrayed in the Bible, we watched whales bubble netting in Alaska, snorkeled with reef fish in the Virgin Islands, slept in the Grand Canyon, sailed the Mediterranean and watched the sun set in the tropics. One of her many favorite moments across all her many years was preparing fried grouper, cheese grits and sweet tea for President George H.W. Bush in the home of her son. Her kind brother, Rex Rowell, who also lived very close to her, passed away in 2015. Mama never wanted to be remembered or recognized for her accomplishments. She long patterned herself after Jesus of Nazareth and well reflected His sacrifice for others. She always strove "by the mercies of God to present her body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which was her spiritual worship". (Romans 12:1-2) She is honored only by the improved lives of others and people of every walk of life who she strived to respect, love, inspire, encourage, uplift and learn from for all the many years that she lived with us. Her best lessons for us she saved for her last days. As we held her, kissed her and thanked her, her face reflected her awe as she viewed glimpses of heaven and all the Lord had already prepared for her. She was strong, peaceful and free. Her family will greet friends at Wilson Funeral Home on Wednesday from 6-8pm. Funeral services will be on Thursday at 2 pm at Palo Alto Church of Christ. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery. Wilson Funeral Home Family Owned Since 1911 214 Airport Road Panama City, Fla. 850-785-5272 ... 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214 Airport Road , Panama City, FL 32405
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