James Russell Harriman, age 90, went to be with the Lord on June 10, 2020. He was born in Detroit, Michigan to the late James Russell and Janet Harriman. Beloved husband of the late MaryLou Harriman for 47 years and Shirley Granville Harriman for 17 years. Loving father of Kathleen Boker, Sue Kraft (Ted), Debra Alcorn (Bruce), Janice Duffy and James T. Harriman (Christina). Dear brother of Thelma LaMotte. Loving grandfather of Sean Boker (Megan), Sandra Pillion, Hannah Kraft, Emily Kraft, Rebecca Kraft, Matthew Alcorn (Sarah), Laura Alcorn, Christopher Duffy. Great grandfather of Everli, Ella, Kyla, Alexandria and Lewis.
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Jim was a veteran of the U.S. Army during the Korean War, serving in the 82nd Airborne, stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. He was a paratrooper who packed the parachutes. He always said “if you are going to jump out of a plane, pack your own”. In 1952, he married a tall brunette beauty named MaryLou Scally. A year later they had their first daughter followed by 3 more girls. Six years after the last daughter came that long awaited boy, James T. Harriman.
Throughout his career, Jim worked as a machinist in printing companies in Michigan and later in Arizona where they moved before retirement.
He and MaryLou were involved in their church in Michigan at Bethel Baptist where they made many wonderful lifelong friends. He was on the evangelism team and was honored to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Later in Arizona, they were members of Mesa Baptist Church where they served faithfully. In 1999, MaryLou passed away at age 66 after succumbing to cancer. Five years later, Jim fell in love once again with another lovely sweet lady named Shirley Granville who was a friend from church. They were blessed to have many adventures and great times together for 17 years of marriage.
Over the years, some of Jim’s favorite things to do were bowling, traveling, swimming, biking and doing crossword puzzles. He was a talented whistler so we always knew where he was. His hobby was puttering at his work bench, coming up with new inventions and improvements around the house. He always said he invented the electric pencil sharpener. If only he had patented it! We always called him McGuyver and he passed his talents onto his son Jim.
He had a fondness for Buicks and had many over the course of his life. Lucky for him, his son became a mechanic at a Buick dealership and serviced his cars. He was still a good driver right to the end and often complained about the other OLD SLOW drivers on the road while behind the wheel, even though most were younger than him.
Jim was a good husband and father. When there was a contest at church for Father of the Year, two of his girls Kathy and Debbie wrote letters nominating him. They were chosen to read their letters in front of the congregation. Just recently going through his possessions, we found he had saved those two letters. Dad was known for not being sentimental and saving things so what a surprise to find them. This sums up how his children loved and thought of him. The letters are included with all the pictures on the site.
A memorial will be planned at a later date.
We would love to hear your stories of any memories you have of him. Please leave your memories of Jim on Falconer Funeral home site or send to:
11537 E. Lobo Ave.
Mesa, AZ 85209