Obituary: HARRISON, JOHN FRASER [J & Jay]
Jay was born in
on Portland Maine 8 Nov 1933. He was the
only child of John Alexander and Leonore Mary (Fraser) Harrison. His father was
then the Portland Branch Manager for the Burroughs Adding Machine Company.
His paternal ancestry went back to 5 pilgrim passengers onboard the Mayflower that landed in
on Plymouth, MA 16 December 1620.
His maternal ancestry went back to the Fraser Clan in Kintail Parish of Ross
and Cromarty County Scotland thence to ,
along with a direct linkage to Simon Fraser (his Great-Grand Uncle) of Canadian
historical fame. Brockville
Jay used to joke that one day, when he was about 13 and living on the family farm back in Ogunquit Maine, he looked into a mirror and said "Where in the world did he come from?" and he searched for the answer to that question for the rest of his life. He was an active genealogist from that day forward.
Jay graduated from
in Silver Spring MD and
went on to the Industrial Engineering School at The University of Maryland. His
college education was interrupted by the Korean Police Action in early 1953. Montgomery Blair
Jay was drafted into the US Army and was trained in communications and intelligence and among other assignments was assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Communication Center in The Pentagon. Following his "active" service he was assigned to a Reserve SIRA Team (Strategic Intelligence Research and Analysis) for 6 more years.
Jay held, during his military service, every Security Clearance ever issued and was sworn to secrecy on many subjects for the rest of his life. He abided by that commitment and refrained from addressing subjects that are today common topics on the internet.
Jay also attended
As a veteran, and while attending UofM, Jay worked evenings repairing Multilith printing presses in Government agencies for Addressograph-Multigraph in
Over the next few years Jay was promoted and reassigned by AM to
13 Jun 1961 he became a
Reserve Officer on the Dallas Police Department. His military background and
genealogical research experience was used by the DPD's Criminal Intelligence
At the time of the Kennedy Assassination at on
22 Nov 1963 he was on
assignment observing the Black Muslim Church as intelligence information was
that members of that church would be creating a scene somewhere along the
motorcade route. When the shooting event happened he went to the
and arrived there 4 minutes following the shooting. Later that day he was on
the guard team for Governor Connally at the ICU in School
Book Depository Building . Parkland
He was the first Reserve Officer of the DPD to be awarded the The Meritorious Conduct Award, the highest award to an officer of the DPD. This award was made on
In 1964 he left A-M Corp and joined one of his clients (Texas Instruments) as its Corporate Printing Coordinator.
In July 1966 he was was hired by Frank McBee, the VP of a small but rapidly growing, electronics firm in Austin to be their Publications Manager. That company's name was TRACOR. Jay's first day there was
Monday 1 Aug 1966 and he and a personnel officer
ate an early lunch at the Night Hawk Restaurant at 19th and Guadalupe. They
came outside about and at that
time Charles Whitman was shooting from the Tower.
In 1968 Jay became VP of Market Development of Norman Harwell & Associates (NHA, Inc) the 2nd largest technical publication firm in the world. In 1971, after the elimination of
requirements of the federal government NHA went from over 1700 employees to
less than 100. Unfortunately Jay was one of the ones that was looking for a new
In 1974 he returned to
went to work for Nash Phillips-Copus Co (NP-C) as a salesman in their
Multi-family Division. He was NP-C's Salesman of the Year in 1975 and 1976. He
was awarded the Outstanding Salesman of the year award by the Austin
Association of Sales Executives; He was one of the top 10 Salesman in the
nation in the years 1976, 77 & 78 by the National Association of
Homebuilders. Jay was promoted to Sales Manager of NP-C in 1977. NP-C was the
2nd largest builder in Austin and
7th largest builder in the nation. CenTex Construction (a Clint Murchison, Sr
Company) was the largest builder in both TX and the nation. Texas
In 1979 Jay founded Texas Real Estate Marketing & Consulting Corp (TREMAC). It grew to be in the top 3 of Commercial real estate firms in the Austin Market. Its annual sales exceeded 35 million dollars. It went dormant in the real estate crash of 1988.
Jay has been a licensed real estate broker for over 25 years. He wanted to return to commercial real estate sales when the market recovered in 1998/99 but he has been recovering from major surgical and physical disabilities since 1998.
He has been Amateur Radio Licensed since 1952. His current call sign is N5BHU. Jay received the origional "Mayday" from the Medical college on
and Grenada Island ALL the communications with that
facility were through his home in Rollingwood for over a week in October 1983.
The US Department of State and The Defense Department had open telephone lines
to his residence for that whole week. His station was manned for 24 hours a day
and he still has audio tapes of all the communications. (Ref: Dick Stanley AAS
Jay has done genealogical research for over 55 years and is a highly respected researcher of Colonial New England, The Republic of Texas, and early Texas History. He has been a contributing patron of the Texas State Library and through the years has donated many thousands of dollars in books, equipment and computer CD's to their genealogical collection. He was one of the origional founders and authors of "Automated Archives" the ORIGIONAL producer of genealogical CD ROMS in the early 1990's.
Jay is the Certified Genealogist for The Texas Supreme Court Historical Society. His current effort is doing hard genealogical research on all 150+ Justices of the Supreme Court of the
and the State of Republic
of Texas . Texas
Jay was a licensed pilot and in his spare time liked to cruse off into the wild blue yonder.
He can now do it permanently.