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Gene Harrison

February 22, 2019

Gene Harrison, also known as “Pope” (87), passed to heaven, Friday, February 22, 2019, at Wesley Woodlawn Hospital in Wichita, Kansas. He was born September 12, 1931, in Dundee, Indiana.

Gene transferred to Newton, Kansas, from Elwood, Indiana, as the plant manager for Steven’s Spring Co. in 1961 during the thriving mobile home years. In 1964, he started E&H Foam to serve the growing needs of the bedding and furniture industry, and over the next few years began diversifying into multiple related business opportunities, i.e. Prairie Schooner Vans, Classic Interiors, etc. Being the entrepreneurial spirit he was, another idea intrigued him, and he pursued the building of a residential mobile home park, Prairie Estates. Although he worked hard to build each successful venture, he  worked equally hard to ensure his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren knew the meaning of love, fun, strong family relationships and making treasured memories.

A public funeral service will be 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Grace Community Church in Newton, Kansas with Pastor Steve Friesen presiding.

There will be a private visitation only.

In lieu of flowers and memorial donations, it is Gene’s family’s wish that his friends and family honor Gene by spending special time with their own family and enjoying each other’s precious company.

Gene is survived by his wife, Dana; 2 sons and their spouses, Toby (Laura) Harrison and Kelby (Sharon) Harrison; 4 daughters and their spouses, Melody (Tim) Maloney, Reni Whitfield (Randy Vanderree), Tina (Mike) Garcia, and Tawnya (Loren) Schroeder; 24 grandchildren and their spouses, Colby (Dyan) Roberson, Josh (Stephanie) Roberson, Zach (Jill) Roberson, Tyler (Amber) Roberson, Amber (Brandon) Bogue, April (Chad) Childers, Kacey (Sinead) Harrison, Alissa Harrison, Tosha (Todd) Smith, Cori (Jerame) Carson, Nisha (Jason) Spencer, Sheena (Cody) Smith, Cody (Kym) Garcia, Caleb (Madiah) Metzler, Luke (Colleen) Metzler, Gabe Metzler, Seth Metzler, Briana (Travis) Stubbs, Keaton Harrison, Amelia (Fernando) Fierros, Quinton Harrison, Jeb (Janelle) Schroeder, Judd (Andrea) Schroeder, and Jate Schroeder(Julie Baker) and YongGang Chang, who has become like a grandchild; 54 great grandchildren, Brody, Boone, Berkley, Cabe, Juden, Ridge, Coleson, Brecklyn, Knox, Dresden, Pierson, Braxton, Alexis, Bridger, Jasper, Kylar, Kade, Kenzi, Hunter, Morgan, Cash, Mariah, Rylie, Cruz, Cain, Milayna, Elyza, Adryn, Westin, Baby Smith, Elijah, Zane, Ciera, Sadie, Wade, Kailey, Owen, Wyatt, Bristol, Rory, Branson, Harrison, Collette, D’Angelo, Alayna, Mateo, Madison, Bud, Brooklyn, Maizy, Harper, Asher, Addie Jo, and Baby Schroeder. He is also survived by one brother and his wife, Bob (Millie) Harrison and one sister, Chic McGuire, many adored nieces and nephews, and special friends Barb and Larry Smith.

Gene is preceded in death by his parents, Royal Harrison Sr. and Kathryn; daughter and son in law, Gina and Mike Metzler; brother and sister in law, Royal Harrison Jr. and Phyllis; and brother in law, Bill McGuire. Brother in law and sister in law Wayne and Joyce Jack; brother and sister in law, Wayne and Joyce Jack.

There will be a private family interment.

Petersen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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27 thoughts on “Gene Harrison


  2. So sorry for your loss Harrison family!! Renie you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers!!

  3. Gene will always be remembered as a friendly person with a sparkle in his eyes and encouragement in his words. His legacy of love will live on through the generations of his beautiful family. Our prayers are with them all, as we also pray that Perpetual Light may shine upon him.

  4. Our condolences to the Harrison family. We knew Gene through his children, grandchildren and Newton wrestling. A hard working man but family was always first… what a legacy in family he has left. Our prayers are with you as you go thru this difficult time.

  5. Sorry about your loss of Gene. Got to know Gene & his family because of our son, Trent Machmer, who wrestled with Kelby those high school years they were together. We send our sympathy for the whole family.

  6. I appreciate Gene for dealing honestly and fairly in business. He was a help to me. I also send my prayers & sympathy to Jeb & Caleb, and their children. May God bless your family during this time of grief and loss.

  7. I’ll remember his warm smile always. A Man Beloved by many.
    Sending hugs and love to the Harrison family. Xoxo

  8. A great family man! Family was important to him. I remember hearing about the Florida family
    trips. Everyone was to be there.
    He wanted to make memories for the family to remember. And I believed he did. It’s the first house I went to in Jr. high where they ate peanut butter with tortillas. Hugs to your whole family! Wrestling is in this families blood!

  9. Deepest sympathies to all of the Harrison family. Gene and Dana were so kind in welcoming my family to Newton in 1973. My dad always admired Gene and his work ethic and appreciated hs friendship. Hugs to all of you!

  10. So sorry to hear about Gene’s passing. I know he will be missed by all. Growing up across the street from you guys, it kind of feels like losing part of the family. Praying for comfort for all.

  11. Thanks for this. The Roberson grandsons are my nephews once removed (I think)!
    I am glad they are part of a large family even though far away from us Robersons in the South.

  12. Dana and Gene were regular diners at my grandmothers restaurant, La Tapatia. Somehow, all these years later, they still remembered me and my husband, Dana. Gene was always such a gentleman, in the truest sense of the word. His smile and “hello” will be missed. God Bless the Harrison family.

  13. We are so sorry to hear about Pope. Sending thoughts & prayers to you all! Brandon & Tammy Nunnenkamp & family

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