Vance Harrison was born in Indianapolis on October 28, 1924, but soon the family, including Vance's brother, Scott, moved to Rye, N.Y.. In Rye his family lived on Thistle Lane. Vance was a Rye High School Graduate, Class of 1943.
He enlisted February 19, 1943 and served in the U.S. Army during World War II, rising to the rank of second lieutenant. He served as a Staff Sergeant with the 667th AAA Machine Gun Battery in Burma and India. After 18 months overseas he returned to Fort Benning GA and completed the officers candidate school courses and was commissioned a second lieutenant.
Following the war, he entered Cornell University where he met the love of his life, Ellen. They married on Sept. 2, 1950 and settled in Westport, Conn. Vance pursued a career in broadcast sales in New York City.
In 1973, Vance was transferred to Chicago, and his family settled in Winnetka, Ill. The Midwest suited the family well, as they enjoyed the four seasons, Chicago's culture and the North Shore community. Vance retired from broadcasting in 1986.
The move to Chicago offered Vance and Ellen the opportunity to purchase a second home on the Vineyard, where they brought their children during the summer and later became summer-long residents.
In December 2002, Vance and Ellen moved to an apartment at Plymouth Harbor Retirement Community in Sarasota, Fla., but they continued to spend summers on the Vineyard.
Vance Harrison, recreational lobsterman, clammer and fisherman in Aquinnah, died on August 16, 2009 at his winter home in Sarasota, Fla., He had recently returned from more than a month at the Vineyard this summer. He was 84.
His friends will attest to his being an extremely successful lobsterman and clammer because he shared his catch. In retirement, he spent long summers on the Island and many of these hours on Menemsha Pond.
Besides Ellen, Vance leaves four children: Vance, Jr. and his wife, Nancy; Annette (Nan) Ryan; Scott and his wife, Karen; and Matt and his wife, Gayle. He also leaves seven grandchildren: Martin Zermeno, Megan, Casey and Hayley Ryan, and Kelsey, Jay, and Leigh Harrison.
Scott and Karen and their children will continue to enjoy the Harrison family home.
Oct. 28, 1924 - Aug. 16, 2009
Vance Harrison, 84, of Sarasota, formerly of Winnetka, Ill., died Aug. 16, 2009.
A memorial service will be 3 p.m. Saturday at Plymouth Harbor. Arrangements by Toale Brothers Funeral Homes, Colonial Chapel.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Ellen; daughter Annette Ryan of Winnetka; sons Vance Jr. of Oklahoma City, Scott of Darien, Conn., and Matthew of Laguna Niguel, Calif.; and seven grandchildren. - See more at: