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Ronald L. Harrison

July 15, 1921 July 8, 2010
Ronald L. Harrison
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Obituary for Ronald L. Harrison

Ronald Harrison, 88, of Plymouth, NC died Thursday morning peacefully in his sleep at home. Born on July 15, 1921 in Little Rock, AR he served in the Pacific Theatre during WWII in the Army Signal Corps. After the war he married Joyce Murdick of Rutland, VT, (who has preceded him in death), and they had three sons who survive him; Peter Harrison of Raleigh, Robert Harrison, a missionary in the Philippines, and Tom Harrison of Plymouth. Ronald moved to Plymouth in 1971 with his teenage son Tom after having started Plymouth Pallet Co. in 1964 building pallets for Weyerhaeuser Company. On May 1, 1980 he married Susan Winne of Schenectady, NY, who survives him with their two daughters, Catharine Harrison of Portsmouth, VA and Margaret Harrison of Westover, NC.
Ronald was a self-made man and successful entrepreneur who began his career building houses and then wooden pallets. He built pallet manufacturing facilities in four states. He had a talent for designing products, equipment and processes. He invented the logging mat and started Carolina Mat Co. in Plymouth to manufacture these wooden mats that are used as a portable board road in the logging industry, utility work and oil fields. He patented his mats in Canada and has been waiting to receive his US Patent. These mats are used today across the United States and Canada. He dabbled in a number of other businesses, but he loved his farm where he lived with his wife Susan for thirty years on the Mackeys Road in Westover Community near Plymouth. Once the largest grape vineyard in NC, he converted the farm to pine plantations when grapes were no longer profitable. Ronald never tired of working, developing real estate and planting trees. He was mowing in his tree plantations up until a few days before he died. He helped out many people in their time of need without expecting anything in return. His favority charity was the Food Bank of the Albemarle.
A private ceremony will be held on his beloved farm on what would have been his 89th birthday, Thursday, July 15th. Arrangements are by Maitland Funeral Home, Plymouth, NC. No flowers, please. Memorials can be made to the Food Bank of the Albemarle - 252-335-4035.


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