Basil John Harrison moved to a better place on April 1st, 2022 after surrendering to cancer. Surprising his parents, Carroll and Anna Harrison, Basil arrived on May 21st, 1948. Being the youngest of six, Basil often said practice makes perfect.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Carol Ann, and brothers Jim and Phil (Carroll). Surviving Basil are his sisters Kitty (Katherine) and Joanna (Joann), and many nieces and nephews.
Susie (Susan Divilio) his lifetime friend and wife gave Basil a special view of life and joy he never thought possible. Not having biological children of his own, experiencing Susie raising her sons Chris, Dan, and Frank Divilio was life fulfilling. And to see how their success and individual families grew was just icing on the cake.
Basil’s education began in St. Michaels while his father pursued farming in that area after the sale of their farm in Trappe. He then began second grade and later graduated from Sts. Peter and Paul in Easton.
His parents transferred from farming to flowers with the opening of Harrisons’ Flowers. Basil worked in the family business participating in every phase of the operation. Designing was the most rewarding where awards were won from FTD in design competitions.
He entered the Army in 1968, went through basic training at Fort Bragg where he qualified as an expert with the M-14, M-16, .45 handgun, first class gunner with M-60 machine gun, and won an award for highest qualifying score in the entire battalion. He was discharged two years later, from headquarters, Fort McClellan, Alabama a Specialist E-5.
He returned to the greenhouse division of the family business. When the retail business was sold to brother Phil and his wife Karen, he decided to explore other endeavors. Basil started a summer job with Ward Component Systems in Easton. Within six months he became plant manager and was involved in expanding the company from manufacturing wall panels to roof and floor trusses, lumber yards and mill work. He became Director of Plant Operations covering Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.
Basil decided to change direction and pursue life as a true Eastern Shoreman, being the only sibling born on the Shore. Getting a commercial license, he fished, crabbed, oystered, and guided hunting parties. This was the greatest time of his life. Quickly realizing this wasn’t going to support the lifestyle he was accustomed to, he returned to Ward Corporation to supervise construction of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments on the Eastern and western Shores, also managing a golf and country club in Brandywine, Maryland for Ward Corporation.
Leaving Ward, and taking a position with R.L. Ewing Contractors LLC, Basil worked in sales and in the field where he learned the excavation business. Realizing the benefits of specializing, he and Bunk Ewing transformed the company from excavation to paving and tar and chip. After managing R.L. Ewing for 20 years, he pursued yet another phase of life, Retirement.
He was a past member in the Miles River Yacht Club, Talbot Rod and Gun Club, and the Chesapeake Classic Car Club. Basil loved cars, motorcycles, boats, guns, hunting, fishing, cooking, gardening, landscaping, flower design, and photography. Basil encouraged people to be successful, polite, respectful, treat people fairly, be on time, and never let fear hold you back.
Special thanks to Nephew Jim Harrison for always being there, sharing interests, and assisting in times of need.
A gathering will be held at a later date to celebrate Basil's life. In lieu of flowers go out to dinner and give a toast to the great life Basil enjoyed here on earth.
Arrangements are in the care of Thomas Funeral Home, P.A. in Cambridge, MD.
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