Philip Barnard Harrison, of Niles

Published 9:08 am Thursday, January 17, 2019

July 25, 1947 — Jan. 1, 2019

Philip Barnard Harrison, 71, of Niles, passed away Jan. 1, 2019, after an extended illness.

He was born on July 25, 1947, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to the late Captain John Barnard Harrison (1915 – 1986) and Maxine Pearl (Lewis) [Lyon] [McCormick] (1920 – 2005).

Philip Barnard Harrison

He grew up and attended school in Cassopolis.

Throughout high school, he was active in athletics — lettering in football, wrestling and track — and in student government. During his senior year in high school, he served as president of the student council.

After graduation in 1965, he attended Western Michigan University for one year. He left college and enlisted and served in the U.S. Marine Corps for the next two years. While in the Marines, he attained the rank of Corporal and served in Vietnam as a tank commander. During his tour of duty, he saw considerable combat at Hue, South Vietnam during the Tet Offensive, which began Jan. 31, 1968. During the Offensive, Corporal Harrison had three tanks blown out from under him and served with distinction. Corporal Harrison obtained an “early out” from the Marine Corps to attend college and was honorably discharged in 1968.

He resumed his studies at Western Michigan University where he obtained a 4.0 average for the last three years he was in college. While in college, Mr. Harrison also obtained a teaching certificate. Upon graduation from college, Mr. Harrison taught school for 11 months in Cassopolis. He then enrolled in Law School at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana where he earned a doctorate of law in 1974.

In October 1974, he successfully passed the Michigan Bar and opened his own practice in Dowagiac. He later moved his practice to Cassopolis. Attorney Harrison practice law for more than 40 years. Mr. Harrison was a member of the Peace Lutheran Church of Granger.

Phil is survived by his wife, Paula Bixby-Harrison, of Niles, brother, Keith Graham Harrison, of Holt, Michigan; and half-brother, David Dale Lyon, of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

Phil has been cremated and his family will be remembering him privately. Those wishing to leave a message for the family or upload a photo may do so on our website at

Arrangements entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Niles.