705 W. Warren Street | (812) 849-2600 |

William Henry Harrison, Jr.Passing: April 3, 2024


Jacob Finger Methodist Church

Funeral Service

Wednesday, April 10th @ 11:00am


Chastain Funeral Home

Tuesday, April 9th @ 4:00pm-7:00pm


Mitchell Cemetery

Wednesday, April 10th

MITCHELL – William Henry Harrison Jr., one of the last remaining members of “The Greatest Generation,” passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at his home in the care of his loving family. “Bill” was born in Mitchell, IN on March 30, 1926 along with his twin sister Barbara, to William Henry Harrison Sr. and Hazel McNeely Harrison. The family moved to a farm near Bromer in Orange County where they lived during The Great Depression and where Bill and his sisters attended a one room school. Near the end of the Depression, the family then returned to Mitchell.

Bill attended Riley School where he became friends with another young man by the name of Virgil Grissom. They joined the Boy Scouts in 1938 and attended Mitchell High School together, graduating in 1944. After graduation, Bill, Virgil, and another friend, Harrison Connelly, enlisted in the Army Air Corps. One of Bill’s greatest regrets in life was that he was not able to serve his country overseas during WW II. He was crewed up as a right side gunner on a B-29 bomber, having already received orders to deploy to the Mariana Islands in the Pacific should an invasion of Japan be necessary. While home on leave, Bill married his high school sweetheart, Mary Margaret Overton, on May 29, 1945. The war soon ended with the advent of the atomic bomb and Bill returned home to his wife and infant daughter.  The couple was married almost 67 years when Mary passed away in 2012. Bill lovingly cared for Mary in their home as she battled Alzheimer’s disease.

The second regret of Bill’s life was not having the opportunity to earn a college degree. After his Army discharge in 1946, Bill worked for a time at Carpenter Body Works before he was hired by Lehigh Portland Cement Company where he was employed 44 years, 1968-1978, were spent at Lehigh’s home office in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Where he became Manager of safety after his excellent performance in Labor Relations. After Lehigh merged with the Heidelberg Corporation, Bill returned to the Mitchell plant where he was Manager of Administration and Control. After his retirement, Lehigh continued to consult Bill on safety matters in their cement plants around the United States. Bill was respected by those he worked with at Lehigh as a man of his word with a strong personal work ethic.  Since Bill never got the opportunity to earn a college degree himself, he worked very hard and lived frugally, saving money so that he could give his children the chance to graduate from college. His daughters both obtained nursing degrees, Candace from IU and Drucinda from Penn State, William III also graduated from Penn State with a degree in Journalism.

Bill was a member of American Legion Post No. 250 where he served on the Honor Guard and was a Past Commander. He felt a great personal responsibility to give all veterans of our armed forces, especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, a fitting and proper memorial service. Bill was also a 75 year member and Past Master of Mitchell Masonic Lodge No. 228 F.&A.M. During the 1960’s, Bill was chairman of the pudding contest at the Mitchell Persimmon Festival. He always enjoyed critiquing his family’s persimmon puddings. As his granddaughter Katie once said, “He taught me how to appreciate a good persimmon pudding.” Bill was also a member of Jacob Finger Methodist Church where he taught Sunday school for many years. He was also active in the Mitchell Rotary Club where he was named a Paul Harris Fellow.

William Henry Harrison Jr. was preceded in death by his parents, wife Mary, twin sister Barbara Phillips, and sisters Louise Lancaster and Betty Fields. He is survived by daughters Candace (Steve) Isom and Drucinda Burton, both of Mitchell and a son William Henry Harrison III (Cindy Marks) of East Greenville, PA. Grandchildren: Stephen (Ashley Allen) Isom III, John-Paul (Julie) Isom, Lauren (Jesse) Pounds, Kathryn (Daniel) Houchin, William Henry Harrison IV (Maegan), Nora Harrison, John Harrison, and Leah Marks. Great-grandchildren: Rieken Isom, Jack and Quinley Isom, Reese Isom, Julia Isom, Rhett Houchin, Ryleigh Houchin, and Miss Reagan Houchin due in June, William Henry Harrison V (Liam), and Nell Harrison.

Funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 10, at Jacob Finger Methodist Church with Pastor Pam Tedrow and Brother Marc Fields officiating.  Military rites will be accorded by American Legion Post No. 250 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 9107.  Entombment will be at Mitchell Cemetery.

Friends may visit Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Chastain Funeral Home & Cremation Center and from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service Wednesday at the church.  A memorial service will be conducted by Mitchell Masonic Lodge No. 228 F.&A.M. at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The family would like to thank Hoosier Uplands Hospice Staff for their compassionate and professional care of William in his final months and also his special caregiver, Chandler Hershberger.

Memorial Contributions:  Jacob Finger Methodist Church

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20 Guest Comments

  1. Guest: Gail woodruff | Scottsburg IN
    Date: April 16, 2024
    I was in Bill's Sunday school class for many years. Always appreciated him (and Mary) in class.
  2. Guest: John Hardman | Bloomington, Indiana
    Date: April 11, 2024
    Bill was a true gentleman and was a pleasure to work with at Lehigh! He was a pretty decent tennis player too! Prayers of comfort for the family!
  3. Guest: Jackson J Williams | Mitchell
    Date: April 10, 2024
    I am so sorry to hear of Bill's passing. I will always remember the stories and times he shared with my mother and me. He will be greatly missed. My prayers are with Bill and his family. Sincerely, Jay Williams.
  4. Guest: Scott Fields | Mitchell, IN
    Date: April 8, 2024
    We have truly lost one of the greatest of his generation. Loyal, loving, contentious, and generous to God, family, country and Lehigh. Those kind of men are few and far between in this age. His legacy will live on in children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for decades to come. Prayers to Candy, Drucy and (Little) Bill. Love you all. -~scott
  5. Guest: Karen Hackney | Mitchell
    Date: April 8, 2024
    Heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Our prayers are with you all.
  6. Guest: Greta Blackwell Ferraz | Naples, Florida
    Date: April 8, 2024
    My thoughts and condolences to the Harrison, Burtons and Isom families at this difficult time.
  7. Guest: Lisa Jill Morse | Bedford IN
    Date: April 7, 2024
    What a wonderful man “papaw Bill” was. Respected and loved by everyone who knew him. Being his neighbor for many years allowed Alix and myself to become friends with Bill, Mary and the whole neighborhood family. Those were precious years. Sending love to the entire family. ❤❤🙏🙏 Jill Morse, Alix Richey
  8. Guest: Bob Braman | Greenwood, IN
    Date: April 6, 2024
    My thoughts and sincere condolences to all of the Harrison, Isom and Burton family. Bill was such a great and kind man. Will always appreciate how he got my father into a routine in his later years at the Mitchell fitness center.
  9. Guest: Sheila Conder | Terre Haute, IN
    Date: April 6, 2024
    Candy, I am so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. I have great memories of both your parents. We had a great childhood. Sheila
  10. Guest: Joe Goldsby | Mitchell, indiana
    Date: April 6, 2024
    I always enjoyed the many hours I spent with Bill and Jerry Hancock having lunch and driving through the country roads and every time we went by Bromer he would point to the area that he grew up in before moving back to Mitchell. He was very good to me at Lehigh and many years after my retirement. I will miss him.
    Date: April 6, 2024
  12. Guest: Sandalee Jeffries | Mitchell
    Date: April 6, 2024
    My sincere condolences to your family, I’m sorry for your loss.
  13. Guest: Carol Emmerich | Glen Carbon IL
    Date: April 5, 2024
    What a loss of a great man, a great uncle and the last of my grandparent's generation. I admired the love of his family, his care of his wife and his devotion to his children. He will be missed. Hugs to his children who devoted their lives to him.
  14. Guest: Donna Hart | Indianapolis, IN
    Date: April 5, 2024
    Drucy, Candy, Bill, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your dad. It has been many many years, but I remember how nice he was to me growing up as neighbors and being at your house. Sitting here remembering all the rooms in your house on 7th and the fun we had. Even when you moved to Allentown and came back for visits. He was a special an. Always had that sweet smile. Many hugs to all of you. Sincerely Donna(Pace) Hart. ❤
  15. Guest: Susan Mather | Indianapolis, IN
    Date: April 5, 2024
    Candy, Drucy and Little Bill(as I knew him) I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad was always active playing tennis, honor guard for the Legion and at our church. The back row on Sundays has changed. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. ❤ Susie
  16. Guest: Carolyn Braman Riefe | Saginaw, MI
    Date: April 5, 2024
    Dear Candy, Drucie and Family. I was so happy to see you and your father a few years ago. I remember the happy times we had on Brook Street. Your dad had a great life with you and he will be missed by many. Thinking of you at this sad time.
  17. Guest: Amy Atkinson Parker | Mitchell, IN
    Date: April 5, 2024
    Mr. Harrison was always kind and generous to we children of 7th St. I remember playing under their porch with the rose arbor and sliding down the front porch steps. Always thought their home was a mansion. Many thoughts and prayers to Candy, Druci, and Bill and their families.
  18. Guest: Natalie Fraser | Marshall, IL
    Date: April 5, 2024
    I remember Uncle Bill’s stories about when he served. He’ll be missed.
  19. Guest: Jackie Crane | Mitchell
    Date: April 5, 2024
    What a pleasure to be in the presence of this man and his sidekick Frank Branham for several years. These two friends worked out at Mitchell Fitness Center faithfully together on the same day and same time always bringing a smile and sharing a story or two. They inspired many by their determination, consistency and discipline to show up and be the best version of themselves. I am thankful to of been in their presence.
  20. Guest: Sandra L Neal | Orleans
    Date: April 5, 2024
    Prayers of comfort Druci, for you and the entire family.