HARRISON, JOHN RAY (1930~2001) John Ray Harrison, former member of the Texas House of Representatives, District Judge, and four-time mayor of Pasadena, Texas, was born in Abilene, Texas, on August 2, 1930. He graduated from Abilene High School and McMurry College. He earned his doctor of jurisprudence degree from South Texas School of Law. Prior to embarking on a distinguished political career, her served as a police officer, classroom teacher, coach, youth counselor and professional baseball player. He also practiced law for 26 years as a partner in the law firm of Cammack, Harrison and Coman.
In 1964, Mr. Harrison was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. While in Austin, he introduced the bill that raised the minimum age for school attendance from 16 to 17. He also introduced a toddler's bill, which has since been the model of many municipal ordinances requiring public pools to be fenced for the protection of small children. Following this service, he was elected for two consecutive terms to the Pasadena City Council. He was elected Mayor of the City of Pasadena, Texas in 1973; reelected in 1977, 1985, and 1989. Mr. Harrison was appointed State District Judge in 1973, elected State District Judge in 1982, and most recently, served as a visiting State Judge.
Throughout his career, Mr. Harrison has been recognized for outstanding service by a number of organizations. He was former President of Harris County Mayors' and Council's Association, Named Pasadena's Outstanding Young Man of the Year in 1960; Pasadena's Outstanding Male Citizen in 1980; and Outstanding Freshman Member, 59th Texas Legislature.
Mr. Harrison was a member of First United Methodist Church, Pasadena. He also was active in many social and civic organizations. He was a former member of the State Bar of Texas and the American Bar Association; former member of the Y. M. C. A. Board of Directors; former member of the Board of Directors for the Neighborhood Centers Association; Life Member of the Pasadena Rodeo Association; former President of the Pasadena National Little League; former Vice Commissioner, Pasadena Teenage Baseball; former President of the Pasadena Bar Association; former member of the HGAC Executive Committee; and Director of the Texas Coastal Bank. He also was manager of the Pasadena Barrister's Fast Pitch Softball Team and was active in the ASA National 45 and Over Fast Pitch Association. He participated in the ASA National Tournament for the past five years and led his team to the ASA National 50 and Over Fast Pitch Championship in 2000.
Mr. Harrison married Barbara Hale in 1948. During their 53-year marriage, they had seven children, eight grandchildren.
Mr. Harrison died Saturday, December 22, 2001, and was buried in the Texas State Cemetery on December 27. Information taken from obituary.