Leaving a Legacy Together

Robert and Mary Harrison

Robert and Mary Harrison met for the first time at the Winnipeg Roller Rink in 1949 and were married that same year. Robert would always joke that he ‘picked the right Mary’ as Mary was with her friend, also named Mary, when they met. Robert grew up on a farm outside of Orkney, Saskatchewan, and Mary grew up in Niverville; the values of a close-knit community were part of their lives from an early age.

The Harrison’s both came from humble beginnings and built a fulsome life and family through perseverance and hard work. Although the two raised five children of their own (Tracey, Tannis, Trent, Todd, and Tyler), their warm, open household was a home away from home for children from the neighbourhood.

Robert, also known as “Bobby Radio” by his customers, had a strong background in technology and was considered a pioneer in his field. Alongside his business partner, John Nowell, Robert started Harrison-Nowell Mobile Radio and Paging Services. The company installed some of the first mobile radios in police, fire, and taxi vehicles in Winnipeg, effectively ushering our city’s communications landscape into a new era.

Mary was quite a good seamstress, and her children remember her as “a fashion plate,” albeit a thrifty one. In keeping with her modest upbringing, Mary would find designer pieces at used clothing stores and was ahead of her time when it came to altering and recycling clothing. She was a dedicated homemaker and partner who cared for her family and supported Robert in his career.

Celebrating the endeavors and accomplishments of their children, and remaining supportive to each other and their community was a constant and important part of their lives. They also both valued education and were eager to learn new things, picking up hobbies like skiing and cycling later in life, with Robert continuing to hit the downhill ski slopes until he was 85.

Throughout their lives, the couple contributed to the community in many ways, from volunteering at their local community club and church to installing lifeline medical alerts on behalf of Victoria Hospital into local seniors’ homes. Robert and Mary were thankful for what life provided them and their legacy will continue to show their gratitude For Good. Forever.

After 73 years of marriage, Robert and Mary peacefully passed away just 16 hours apart in January 2023. Leaving a gift to The Winnipeg Foundation in their will ensures their generosity will continue to support the community through one of their many interests, education.

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