Ethel Mary Harrison, 90

Published 10:35 am Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ethel Mary Harrison, 90, of Austin died Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, at Good Samaritan Society, St. Ansgar, Iowa.

Ethel Harrison

Ethel Mary Young was born Oct. 20, 1921, in Wiscoy Township in rural Winona County to George and Mame (Corcoran) Young. She married Richard Ellsworth Harrison on Feb. 6, 1947, in Sioux Falls, S.D. Together, they had two sons, Gary and Steve.

Richard (Dick) and Ethel loved to travel and rarely spent more than a few years in one city. Dick’s career with 7-Up Bottling Company as a sales manager took them from Winona to Rochester, East Grand Forks, Duluth, and Austin. After working as a waitress at the Kingswood Estate and North Star Truck Stop, Dick and Ethel purchased the “North Star” in the early 1960’s. Ethel’s love of cooking and baking continued throughout her life.

Email newsletter signup

In 1973 Dick and Ethel sold the restaurant, intending to retire. However, they chose to spend their time behind the wheel, delivering motor homes (twice to Alaska), and then driving semi-trucks prior to buying a big truck and fifth-wheel trailer that they called home for several years. In the early 1990s they bought a home in Austin and a park-model home in Arizona.

Ethel was an artist; she loved doing needle work, including cross-stitch, hardanger embroidery, knitting, and crochet. She also enjoyed oil painting. Her work is treasured and includes a hardanger baptismal gown that each great-grandchild has been baptized in. Ethel also loved an adventure. She and Dick traveled to Africa in the 1970s. She shared her adventurous spirit with her grandchildren, whom she took camping and taught to swim.

She is survived by two sons: Gary (Margie) of Lyle and Steve (Diane) of Austin; four grandchildren, Todd Harrison of Lyle, Carrie Nelson (Joel) of Lyle, Chris Schmit (Grant) of Byron, and Brad (Beth) Harrison of Foley; 12 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by one brother, Jack (Edna) Young of Kimball, Minn.; many nieces; nephews; other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard in 2002.

She will be buried in Cedar City Cemetery with a private family service at a later date. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at