Charles William Harrison, 82, of Abilene, Texas, passed away on December 30, 2023, surrounded by his loved ones. A visitation will begin at 12:30 PM in the Elmwood Funeral Home Chapel, 5750 Hwy 277 South on Friday, January 5, 2024. A funeral service will begin following the visitation at 2:00 PM in the Elmwood Funeral Home Chapel. Born on April 25, 1941, to Hulon and Anna Lee Harrison in Abilene, Charles, affectionately known as Chuck, lived a life filled with passion, dedication, and remarkable achievements.
Chuck's journey began at Abilene High School, where he made a name for himself as a standout athlete. Under the mentorship of Coach Moser, Chuck was an integral part of the legendary high school football team from 1954 to 1957, earning a place in history as a member of the team of the century. He graduated from Abilene High School in 1959, carrying with him the values of teamwork and perseverance that would shape his future endeavors.
On August 12, 1960, Chuck married the love of his life, Lorna Tucker, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Their enduring partnership became a cornerstone of his life, providing him with unwavering support throughout the years.
Continuing his pursuit of excellence, Chuck attended Texas Tech University, where he showcased his athletic prowess on both the football and baseball fields. His dedication to the sport led to his selection by the Houston Astros in the Major League Baseball draft, marking him as the first major leaguer to emerge from Texas Tech University. Chuck's impact in the majors was significant, playing five seasons with over 1,000 at-bats. As a first baseman for the Houston Astros (1965–1967) and the Kansas City Royals (1969, 1971), he was a key player during the Astros' youth movement in the 1960s. His exceptional glove work and athleticism made him a respected figure in the baseball community.
Following his illustrious baseball career, Chuck transitioned into real estate and a commodity broker. His entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to hard work were evident in his successful ventures. Eventually, Chuck found fulfillment as a truck driver with JB Hunt, concluding his professional journey upon his retirement in 2003.
Chuck's contributions to the world of sports were duly recognized when he was inducted into the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 2009. These honors stand as a testament to his enduring legacy and the impact he made in both the local community and the broader sports arena.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Dorothy Harris Wimberly; and his brother, John Harrison.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Lorna Harrison; his daughters, Cheri Harrison, and Cindy Hess and her husband Gaylan; his granddaughters, Jesslyn Davis (Zach Davis), Alyssa Ward (Shea Hargrove), Lexi Ward, Jacy Ward; his great grandchildren, Charlee Davis, Raylee Davis, Millee Davis, Salem Hargrove; his sister in law, Rita Harrison; his nieces and nephews, Michael Harris, Sean Harrison, Lisa Sillman, Jeff Spicka, Cheryl Biesterfeld; and numerous great nieces, great nephews, cousins, and friends.
Beyond his achievements, Chuck was also a loving ‘Papa’ who took great pride and joy in his “girls”. With two daughters, four granddaughters, three great-granddaughters, and to a final surprise one great-grandson, who he called his “little shortstop”. His unwavering love for his family resonated in every gesture, smile, and moments shared. His cherished stories, insightful advice, and his lovely stubbornness will forever remain etched in the hearts of those he has left behind. Chuck’s legacy will live on in the lives of those who had the privilege of knowing him.