QUEENSBURY – Dirck Dey Harrison, 93, a retired business executive who was raised in Cooperstown and, an avid skier all his life, volunteered on the Mount Otsego Ski Patrol, passed away on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Granville, Washington County. He lived in Queensbury.
He was born March 10, 1927, in New York City, the son of the late Dr. Francis F. and Carlotta (Creevey) Harrison; his family moved to Cooperstown the following year. He graduated from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass., in 1944 and attended Yale through his sophomore year, when he joined the Navy and served from 1945 to 1946 before returning and graduating from Yale in 1948.
In 1964, he did a year at Harvard Business School in their Advanced Management Program.
Dirck married the love of his life, Joyce Davies, on Feb. 7, 1953. He often said, “Marrying Joyce was the best decision of my life.”
He started his career working for Marshall & Bryan in Ossining until he joined Arkell & Smiths in Canajoharie in 1950, a paper bag manufacturing company, where he was an office manager. He was transferred to their offices in Hudson Falls, a move that brought he, Joyce, and their family, to the Glens Falls area. He worked his way up to vice president of production before the company was sold to Chase Bag Co. in 1967. He remained with Chase until retiring in 1989 as assistant manager.
As an adamant believer in communal volunteering, he gave his time to multiple organizations over the years. He volunteered for the American Red Cross, where he was proud to be a lifetime blood donor, donating 212 pints of blood. He also served on the Board of Directors for the YMCA, Chapman Historical Museum, and the Tennis and Swim Club of Glens Falls. Additionally, he was a member of Aging in Place in recent years.
Dirck spent his winter weekends on the ski slopes enjoying one of his true passions. He started skiing at the age of 7 and continued until the age of 80. During these years, he volunteered on Mount Otsego Ski Patrol and Hickory Hill Ski Patrol. He also served on Hickory Hill Board of Directors from 1959 to 1970 and held the position of president for the year of 1965. He passed his love of skiing to his children and grandchildren. When there wasn’t snow on the ground, Dirck also loved to sail starting from the age of 10 until his 80’s. He owned several boats and entered many races. He also enjoyed a lifetime of tennis and in later years, golf.
But, his greatest passion following his retirement was restoring furniture from stripping and refinishing a wide variety of antiques to caning and rushing chairs. Many friends and family alike have his “creations” in their homes today.
While indeed the renaissance man through his adult life, he always had a special place for his immediate family. From caring for his wife, Joyce, as she dealt with Alzheimer’s disease, to his unique relationship with all his kids and grandkids, he truly treasured his time with family and friends. As one of his granddaughters stated recently,
This man was the source and an enforcer of my love for blended margaritas, homemade pickles, skiing, puzzles, family, and the smell of polyurethane. Also, my appreciation for well made furniture. Although he is my grandfather, he was never “Grandpa,” just Dirck, the perfect combination of stubbornness, joy, tedious storytelling, random idioms, and I don’t give a “care” attitude; all of which will be greatly missed.
In addition to his parents, Dirck was predeceased by his wife, Joyce, on April 26, 2017, after 64 years of loving marriage.
Dirck is survived by his sisters, Barbara Mulhern of Cooperstown and Anne Harrison of Honeoye Falls; his children, Gwyn (Tom) Chappell of Greensboro, North Carolina, Bradford Harrison of Glens Falls, Andrew (Cathy) Harrison of Northfield, Massachusetts and Matthew (Mary) Harrison of Queensbury; his grandchildren, Stephen (Cortney) Chappell of Greensboro, North Carolina, Noah (Larissa) Harrison of Greenfield, Massachusetts, Samantha Harrison (Kaitlin Greenfield) of Santa Cruz, California, Bailey Harrison (Ian Metcalfe) of Rochester, Kennedy Harrison (Collin Greenwood) of Gansevoort and Regan Kaiser of Queensbury; his great-grandchildren, Charles Andrew Harrison and Jordyn Chappell; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held and announced at a later date.
Arrangements are in the care of Singleton Sullivan Potter Funeral Home, 407 Bay Road, Queensbury, NY 12804.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dirck’s memory to a local American Red Cross or by simply giving blood in his honor.
Online condolences may be made by visiting www.sbfuneralhome.com.