Jeannette Harrison, 89, passed away Thursday, March 16, 2023, at Ochsner Rush Hospital after a prolonged illness.
Her husband of more than 57 years, Donald Edward Harrison, was by her side, along with their daughter, Monique Henderson.
She was born near Paris, France, and lived there intermittently until shortly after she married Donald Harrison, who she met on a military base while he was serving there. Through the United States Army, they were stationed at several locations across the United States before settling in Meridian in the mid-1980s.
Jeannette was proud to be an Army wife and a homemaker, focusing for years on her husband and daughter. She also was known for her tremendous intellect. She spoke seven languages, including French, English and Bulgarian.
She was passionate about the value of education and spent about eight years working as a substitute teacher at Meridian High School, as well as other schools throughout the school district. Students and teachers alike jokingly called her “Meridian’s best-dressed sub” because she regularly came to work in stilettos, as well as women’s suits that she made herself.
People in the Valley Road community also will recognize her from her time serving as a Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teacher at Mount Vernon Baptist Church. She regularly visited people who were sick and sometimes threw in-home parties for Monique’s friends.
She often taught herself new skills, using the latest technology effectively. She was confident she could teach herself almost anything – and regularly did, learning how to do everything from in-home electrical wiring to playing the piano to trading stocks online.
Jeannette was a skilled artist and spent a season of her life doing oil paintings. She also enjoyed crossword puzzles, Christian and classical music, good coffee, and time watching classic movies with her beloved dog, Spunky. She took pride in her ability to make small contributions to organizations she believed in, including veterans’ organizations and groups that serve children.
Survivors include her husband, Donald Harrison of Meridian; her daughter, Monique Henderson of Gluckstadt; her son-in-law, Matthew Henderson of Gluckstadt; and two grandchildren, Hannah Henderson and Hunter Henderson, both of Gluckstadt.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in her honor to Operation Smile, which provides cleft palate surgeries for children in need. More information is available at www.operationsmile.org. Please visit https://www.webbstephens.com to sign the register book at Webb & Stephens Downtown.