J. J. Harrison Jr., 71

The Baltimore Sun

James Joshua Harrison Jr., the retired vice president and chief financial officer of McCormick & Co. Inc., died of pneumonia Tuesday at the Keswick Multi-Care Center. The Lutherville resident was 71.

Born in Baltimore, he was a 1954 Gilman School graduate and played on the football team. He earned a civil engineering degree from Cornell University, where he played lacrosse.

An engineer, Mr. Harrison worked on an expansion of the old Memorial Stadium for the Whiting Turner Contracting Co. and then attended the University of Baltimore School of Law at night while he worked days at Martin-Marietta.

He also worked on Gemini space program contracts and designed and oversaw the implementation of a flow meter for mixing fuels. He was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1963 and later did contract work for the aerospace firm.

Mr. Harrison later earned a master's degree in business from Loyola College.

He joined the McCormick spice business as an attorney in 1966 and rose through its ranks to become vice president, chief financial officer and a member of the executive committee. He retired in 1991.

Mr. Harrison had season tickets for the Colts and attended the Preakness Stakes as well as other Maryland racing events.

"Always a strong family man, he was involved with all of his children's sports teams. His favorite vacations were the ones spent motor-homing across the country with the family visiting state and national parks," said his daughter, Elizabeth "Betsy" Lamb of Catonsville. "The whole family would ride down the road singing with a John Denver eight-track, Take me home, country roads ..."

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 Allegheny Ave., where he served on the vestry and was Sunday school superintendent.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 50 years, the former Molly Darden; three sons, Jay Harrison of Reading, Pa., John Harrison of Baltimore and Rob Harrison of Missoula, Mont.; another daughter, Wendy Harrison of Baltimore; a sister, Ann Offutt of Butler; and nine grandchildren. A son, Bill Harrison, died in 1995.

An obituary published in yesterday's editions about retired McCormick & Co. Inc. executive James Joshua Harrison Jr. contained incorrect information.At his death, Mr. Harrison was divorced from the former Molly Darden.The obituary failed to mention his subsequent wife, Susan Hurley Harrison, who was the subject of a highly publicized homicide case.She disappeared in 1994, and her body was found two years later. Police named Mr. Harrison as a suspect, but he denied involvement. Police filed no charges in her death.A wrongful death lawsuit filed by her children against Mr. Harrison ended with a confidential settlement.The Sun regrets the errors.
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