On June 8, 1952, Daniel Gordon was brought into the world from proud parents Gordon and Margaret (Walker) Harrison in Weston. Dan joined his older sister Roseanne, and the Harrison family kept growing with the additions of Wendy, Heather, Dave, Gord, Willie, and Joe. The Harrison family lived and attended school in Weston. Dan made the decision to move to his grandparents’ home in Wiarton for grade 8. A year later the rest of the Harrison family was all together once again when his parents and the rest of his siblings moved to Wiarton.
Dan attended Wiarton High School, and on the first day of grade 10, a young woman by the name Christa Charlotte Jahnke caught his eye. They became friends first, and within a year, the two hit it off and began dating. Soon after, high school sweethearts, Dan and Christa were married on October 14, 1972, at the Wiarton Lutheran Church. The newlyweds resided in Guelph when they were married, where Dan had floated between multiple jobs. In 1974, Dan and Christa moved to Sauble Beach, and in 1975 they moved into their first home that Dan built with the assistance of family and friends. What a proud accomplishment! Dan began working at Douglas Point as a pipefitter before beginning his apprenticeship with Riddell Plumbing. Throughout his apprenticeship, he attended school in Kitchener to receive his plumbing license in 1979 and then returned to receive his master plumbing license in 2005. After completing his schooling and apprenticeship, he began his own company, Dan Harrison Custom Plumbing, serving the Sauble community and surrounding areas until he sold the company in 1987 to Steven Rosenburg.
In the middle of running his own company, Dan and Christa started their family with their first child Jeannette in 1977, and their family was complete with their son Derek in 1983. His main priority in life soon became providing for his family and being the best father he could be. While living in Sauble Beach, Dan was very involved in the community. He was an active Lions Club member and served as the fire chief for Amabel Township.
When he sold his plumbing business, their family moved to Mississauga where Dan started working as a building inspector for the City of Mississauga. When it was time for Jeannette to begin high school, they moved to Orangeville so she wouldn’t attend high school in the city. He commuted to work every day, until 1998 when he purchased Emergency Pump Sales & Services, a well and water treatment business in Orangeville. He began to grow the business with his children and his son in law working alongside him. A year after starting his business, their family moved to a property outside of Shelburne to accommodate his business equipment and machinery. When he sold his business and officially retired in 2009, Dan and Christa moved into Shelburne. The drive for hard work never left, as he focused on extensive renovations in their home and also helping part-time doing maintenance at the retirement home in Shelburne, where Jeannette worked. In May of 2018, Dan and Christa made the decision to move to Chesley, as they found the ideal retirement bungalow. No matter where he lived, Dan always had one of the most pristine lawns on the block!
One of Dan’s biggest passions was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle with Christa on the back. They would take tours on the bikes to the East coast, and multiple trips to the Smoky Mountains with friends. If he wasn’t riding his motorcycle, he would be found in his shop cleaning and polishing it, getting it ready for the next ride! Dan and Christa also liked to take trips to Florida, Jamaica, Bahamas, with Puerto Vallarta, Mexico being their repetitive trip of joy. They enjoyed packing up the family and going camping in Tobermory at Happy Hearts. Dan enjoyed sitting back, enjoying a Carling Light with a medium rare steak, and listening to country music. He loved to sing along to Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, and his all-time favourite, Patsy Cline! Dan was always willing to help anyone. Whether it was a customer that needed help, a relative that needed food, or a neighbour that needed help with their lawn. He was always there and showed kindness to everyone around him.
The most important part of Dan’s life was his family. Spending time with his family was his biggest passion. Christa was the light and love of his life. Every year, for the last 50 years, on their anniversary, Dan would give Christa a bouquet of red roses. While his children were growing up, he made sure to carve out time in his busy schedule to spend quality time with both of them individually. He would take Jeannette to New Kids on the Block concerts (not his first choice, however enjoyed it because it made her happy!) and joined Derek in his karate classes right through to Derek’s black belt. Derek also accompanied his dad on a moose hunt camping trip at a very young age. Dan and Derek flew to Calgary and spent a few days sightseeing before driving home with the pump hoist they picked up for his business. The Harrison family would spend countless weekends by the pool in Orangeville, having pool parties with their cousins. When his grandchildren were born, the meaning of love grew even more for Dan. With the grandchildren riding with him on the quad and lawn tractor or in the attached wagon, they would drive around in circles on their property as well as Uncle Bill’s and Aunt Cheryl’s property. Dan welcomed his first great grandson with open arms in January of 2020. He had a special place in his heart for all his grandchildren. Over the years, Dan loved to go moose hunting, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and most recently kayaking.
Dan had been struggling with different health issues for years. He had gone through countless surgeries, as recent as his hernia, dental, and vascular surgeries. Dan passed away at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Chesley, on Thursday, March 16, 2023, in his 71st year.
Beloved husband of Christa (Jahnke). Loving father of Jeannette (Eric) Weltz of Shelburne, and Derek Harrison (Sarah Armstrong) of Dundalk. Cherished grandfather of Daniella, Zoey, Sofia, Julia, and Zander and great grandfather of Easton. Dear brother of Roseanne (Bob) Voysey of Wiarton, Heather (Tim) Greig of Wasaga Beach, Willie (Pamela Tompkins) of Chesley, Joe of Dundalk, David of Iroquois Falls, and Gordon (Sherry) of Owen Sound. He was predeceased by his sister Wendy Arnold and his parents Gordon and Margaret (Walker) Harrison.
A memorial service celebrating Dan’s life will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Chesley Hospital Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.