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Walter Harrison, 85, Former Thornwood Fire Chief

THORNWOOD, N.Y. – Walter J. Harrison, a longtime Thornwood resident, died in his sleep in Purdys on Aug. 25, his 85th birthday.

Born in Astoria, N.Y., he was the youngest son of Henry and Margaret Harrison. His family moved to Manhattan Avenue in Thornwood when he was young. Harrison served in the Navy "Seabees" as a construction lineman from 1945 to 1947 and saw combat duty in Okinawa, Japan.

He was employed by New York Telephone Co. as a service manager until his retirement in 1985. Harrison was a life member of the Thornwood Fire Company, with 63 years of service. He served as chief for five years in 1961, including a one-year stint as chairman in 1965

Harrison was also a member of the American Legion Gilbert Rauh Post 1574 in Thornwood and a past member of the Pleasantville Ambulance Corps. and Friends of the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow.

He married Margaret Heyman on June 28, 1947, in Thornwood. She predeceased him on Feb. 1, 2003, after 53 years of marriage.

Harrison is survived by two sons, Walter Harrison Jr., of LaGrange, N.Y. and Michael Harrison, of Carmel, N.Y.; a daughter, Terry Saglibene, of Thornwood; 10 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a brother, Edwin. He was predeceased by a daughter, Meg Danielle, on Dec. 20, 2002 and a brother, Francis.

Calling hours are from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Maher Funeral Home in Pleasantville. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Holy Rosary Church. Burial will follow at All Souls Cemetery in Pleasantville.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Thornwood Fire Department, 770 Commerce St., Thornwood, NY 10594.

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