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Service Set For Jeanne Harrison, Fairfield Fire Hydrant Painter

Pat McDonald, a retired Fairfield teacher and longtime resident, and state Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) helped support Jeanne Harrison’s community service project painting fire hydrants in town.
Pat McDonald, a retired Fairfield teacher and longtime resident, and state Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) helped support Jeanne Harrison’s community service project painting fire hydrants in town. Photo Credit: File
Jeanne Harrison
Jeanne Harrison Photo Credit: Contributed
Jeanne Harrison, center, was known for painting Fairfield's fire hydrants as British Red Coats.
Jeanne Harrison, center, was known for painting Fairfield's fire hydrants as British Red Coats. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Jeanne Harrison, a longtime Fairfield resident known for celebrating the town’s revolutionary history one fire hydrant at a time, passed away peacefully on Nov. 28.

Born Feb. 5, 1932 in Pittsburgh, she was the daughter of Robert and Dorothy (Parry) Wilson.

She grew up in the Pittsburgh area and married Wayne Harrison in Mount Lebanon, Pa., on Feb. 29, 1952 — it was a leap year. They settled in Fairfield in 1968 with their four children.

Harrison was committed to preserving Fairfield's Victorian Cottage and other historic locations in the town, as well as serving on the Historic District Commission and the Land Acquisition Commission.

Her passion for people and the arts inspired her to lead a variety of arts and crafts programs for children of all ages and fueled her involvement with the Police Athletic League (PAL), YMCA, Fairfield Historical Society and First Church Congregational.

Harrison is perhaps best known for her painting of Fairfield fire hydrants in honor of the country's bicentennial in 1976 and Fairfield's 375th anniversary in 2014. In an act of clever retribution, the hydrants were painted to resemble the British Redcoats who burned Fairfield during the Revolutionary War.

In 2013, Harrison was honored as Fairfielder of the year.

She is survived by her loving husband, Wayne S. Harrison; her brother, Albert Wilson (Nera) of Longwood, Fla.; her children Wayne S. Harrison, Jr. (Hyun Jung) of Clearwater, Fla., Robert Harrison (Mary Ellen) of Colorado Springs, Col., and Beth Perkins of Fairfield; and 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her youngest daughter, Terri Jeanne Rotondo.

Harrison will be remembered for her bold creativity and storytelling; love and devotion to her family, friends and community; and her mantra "Dare to be different.”

Known about town for her signature smile, warm personality and paint-covered shoes, she will be dearly missed and forever cherished.

Friends are invited to greet Harrison's family at Spear-Miller Funeral Home in Fairfield on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 3 to 7 p.m. A celebration of life will also take place at a later date.

For information on memorial contributions or to offer an online condolence, visit www.spearmillerfuneralhome.com .

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