Obituaries

Barbara E. Harrison

February 2nd, 2021

Barbara E. Harrison (Chambers), age 94, a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully at home on January 31, 2021, surrounded by her loving family.

Barbara was born on October 15, 1926, in Boston; she was the cherished only daughter to the late Harold and Evelyn Chambers. Barbara was raised in a large and loving family in Allston and summered in Holliston. She attended Allston/Brighton public school system and was a graduate of Brighton High School with the Class of 1943.

Barbara married the “love of her life” William “Bill” Harrison on September 14, 1946; the couple lived in Brighton and Somerville for several years before making Wilmington their home in 1953 and where they raised a wonderful family. Barbara’s family was her number one priority; she was a stay at home Mom who raised seven of her own children along with their many friends who considered her “Mom” as well. Barbara had an “open door” policy where all were welcome, treated with love and respect and of course fed a great meal.

Barbara’s love and devotion to her family was evident in everything she did. Barbara was well organized and ran a “tight ship” with her large gang but she always showered her children and grandchildren with lots of love and affection. Barbara wanted the best in life for her children and grandchildren and she taught by example; she taught her family the importance of education, respect, loyalty and the importance of a strong family bond. She also encouraged them to follow their own path in life, reach for their goals and be true to themselves. She was an amazing mother and Mimi, a great role model, a wonderful confidante and a true friend to her family members.

Barbara had a thirst for knowledge and was an avid reader; she could converse with anyone on practically any subject and she had her strong political views. Barbara was a “people person” and was very sociable, she enjoyed facilitating other people’s views, she could agree to disagree and had a huge amount of respect towards everyone’s opinions.

Barbara was a devout Catholic and an active member of St. Thomas Parish for many, many years. She walked over to Sunday Mass every week, she enjoyed singing along with the choir and conversing with other parishioners after Church. Barbara’s faith was a constant in her life and she believed in the power of prayer to help anyone in any situation.

As her eldest son William “Bill” Harrison, Jr. wrote about his late mother:

Those who know her are nourished, those who don’t are fed.
Those who know her, stop by, she is their destination.
Those who know her look to connect, engage, reflect or just say hello.
Those who know this, know her, and they love my Mother.

Barbara will be fondly remembered as a wonderful lady, she was ahead of her time in many aspects and went out of her way to help others. She was outgoing, friendly and had an endearing personality along with a beautiful smile; she always made others feel loved. Barbara touched the lives of not only her family but many people in the community; she will forever be missed by all who loved her.

Barbara was the beloved wife of the late William R. Harrison, devoted mother of Janet Harrison of West Newbury, William Harrison & his wife Theresa and Donald Harrison & his wife Susan all of Wilmington, Douglas Harrison & his wife Joanne of Newburyport, Debbie Harrison of Providence, RI, Pat Lawrenson & her husband Stephen and Jamie Harrison all of Wilmington. Loving “Mimi” of Nathan & Lia Goldstein, Lindsay Harrison Goldstein & the late Joseph Walsh, Vanessa Graham, Jessica & Tommy Aprile, Bill & Meghan Harrison, Ryan & Richelle Harrison, Justin Harrison, Douglas Harrison, Kyle Harrison, Jennifer & Ron Andruchuk, Brad & Denise Lawrenson, Corey Lawrenson, Carlie & Michael Larffarello, Jacqueline Maga, Johnny Maga and Great-Grandchildren Aria, Reina, Desmond, Tayler, Emerson, Will, Brooke, Madelyn, Colette, Roman, Alpha, Omega, Billy, Grace, Gianna, Aric, Aison and Christopher. Cherished daughter of the late Harold and Evelyn (Graham) Chambers, dear sister of Allan Chambers & his wife Sue of Weymouth, Edmund Chambers of New Jersey, the late Harold, Donald, Bruce and Karl Chambers. Barbara is also survived by many special nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, on Friday, February 5 th at 12:00 noon. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Barbara’s memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

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28 Entries in Guest Book for “Barbara E. Harrison”

  1. Theresa says:

    My experience of Barbara, Mim, was limited. I knew her through her devoted daughter, Jan who exemplified everything I just read in Barbara’s obituary. I offer my condolences to the entire family and to all who knew and appreciated Barbara. In deepest sorrow, Theresa Majoy

  2. Deborah says:

    Please remove the question marks on previous post. Thank you

  3. Kristen Persinos says:

    Thinking of the Harrison family during this time. Sending you all warm regards. My deepest condolences. Kristen

  4. Deborah says:

    Thank you Kristen .

  5. Charlie Goldstein says:

    Barbara’s final trip was expected, but not a choice for those who knew her. I enjoyed many years of calling her my mother-in-law, and when that was no longer possible, I kept returning to her “no-knock” home for the coffee she always had brewing, the smile she wore each day, our political discussions, and her acceptance of my “new” life and friendships. I’ll never forget her early morning Christmas which she began preparing for each January. Barbara was a special person who will be sorely missed, more so as time goes by. Rest in peace, dear lady.

  6. Mike Barry says:

    I’m sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. The obituary captures her perfectly. I have many great memories of her, she was a hot ticket!

  7. Carol Trout says:

    Janet, and family, I was so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. It brought back many instant memories of wonderful feelings from childhood when I was around her with you. She just “drew” you in, and over the years, whenever we ran into each other, it was still the same thing. She had a gift of making you feel important whether you were a little one or a grown-up. I believe in the “circle of life”, that people who come into our lives do for a reason. When I saw that her maiden name was Chambers, I just smiled because that was my great grandmother’s maiden name. May the memories of her be your “roses in December”.

  8. Liane B Harvey says:

    I didn’t know your Mom but went to school with a few of you. She must have been a wonderful person because she raised a very kind and beautiful family. Sorry for your loss. Liane Harvey

  9. Ed Carrasco says:

    Very sorry for the passing of your mom.I had the honor of knowing most of the awesome family she helped to raise. Thoughts and prayers to you all.

  10. Beth Ritchie Pidgeon says:

    Sending thoughts and prayers to the Harrison Family. My mom and Mrs Harrison were friends, both always involved with the goings on at St Thomas. Certainly a life well lived…

  11. Toni LaRivee says:

    My deepest condolences to the Harrison Family. You were blessed with a loving and nurturing mother. She will be missed by many people.

  12. Larry Gallagher says:

    My sincerest condolences to the Harrison Family. As already noted, the obituary does capture her perfectly. Growing up I was fortunate to count the Harrison children among my classmates and friends, and I had the good fortune of visiting with Barbara a couple of times in early 2020. What a pleasure it was to reminisce and hear all the stories. She had an encyclopedic memory, a terrific sense of humor, and she was not short on opinions about all manner of things. A joy to spend time with. My mom loved her, as did my big brother Ed – a member of the Harrison extended family, and given all that were welcome in that home over the decades, the Harrison extended family numbers in the thousands. Such a special woman…and citizen of Wilmington.

  13. Heather Dunham says:

    Pat and family , extending my deepest condolences to you all in the loss of your dear mom. Mothers are so dear and your precious memories will hold dear at this difficult time. God Bless

  14. The Carter Family says:

    Bill, Terri, Jessica and Billy, So very sorry for the loss of your mom/grandmother may your memories give you comfort at this time.
    Love The Carter Family

  15. Frank and Janice McLean says:

    Sorry to hear of the passing of Mrs Harrison. We were both neighbors and friends of the family who spent a good amount of time at the house. I remember going on food shopping trips, and a couple of carts worth of groceries. If you were going to hang out you had to help out. I think I peeled more potatoes there, than at my own house. We were always welcome though and treated like family. Janice remembers the deep conversations and the respect and felt she wanted to raise her children in a home like hers. Our condolences to all the family, may you all keep the fondest of memories of your Mom.i

  16. Starr godfried says:

    Barbra you are my other mother we had weekly calls ranging from politics and always about food always encouraging with everything I will deeply miss her I did get the Mac and cheese recipe

  17. Jennifer Splaine Crane says:

    We are so sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in our prayers.

  18. KarenSalvati says:

    Debbie & family I am truly saddened by the loss of your beautiful Mom. I’m forever grateful to have known her & her caring ways.
    Uncle Jay loved all of you dearly. Forever in my prayers.
    Love Karen

  19. Mary Giroux says:

    Such a lovely woman. When my son passed away, she sent over a pan of the most delicious mac and cheese I ever tasted. This is how we show love and support. May she rest in peace. My deepest condolences to the Harrison family and all who loved her. -Mary Giroux

  20. Bob Zwahlen says:

    Sorry for the loss of your Mom.

  21. Sharon Botelho Belida says:

    To Patty and Harrison Family I’m so sorry for your loss of a wonderful wonderful lady. I was one of those people who stop by after graduating from Wilmington high school and enjoyed your mother so much. Your mom made me a cup of tea and we chatted. Your mother was insightful, happy, loving, and she was like having a second girlfriend. I’ll always remember her.
    My ?? heart goes out to you. She went straight to heaven.
    God Bless you and your living families. Sharon Botelho

  22. Mark Nelson says:

    Please accept our heartfelt condolence on the passing of your Mom. The ones we love are never gone, they live within our hearts . Mark and Kristen Nelson.

  23. Sharon Gray says:

    Even though we knew the day was coming it doesn’t make it any easier. So very sorry for the enormous loss to the Harrison family. She was such a special lady and I will never forget her. At times there were years between our visits but I could just stop and knock on the door and was welcomed with open arms. A good cup of coffee and conversation were always on the menu and you didn’t leave without some goodie to take home. I’m sure your Dad is happy to have her back may she rest in peace…..Hugs to all

  24. Sharon Pellerin says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful woman who raised and neutered a special family. I am sure she goes to heaven as a proud Mom, grandmother, great grandmother and friend to many. My condolences to you all.

  25. Joanne LaLiberte says:

    To Don and all the Harrison’s,
    Your mom was so genuine and we know how much she’ll be missed. Sorry Covid has to interfere with the celebration of life she deserves, but you’re in our thoughts and she’s in a good place, as Susan said, up there making sure everyone is well fed. xoxo

  26. Rick Barry says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Mrs. Harrison. I’m sure your great family will support each other at this most trying time. We will miss her singing at St. Thomas. I’m just hearing about this now. My family offers their most sincere condolences to the Harrison family.
    Sincerely,
    Richard (Rick) Barry

  27. Susan Ferrara says:

    Harrison Family,
    I am sorry to hear of your mom’s passing.
    I enjoyed being at your home when we were all young. Unfortunately, time passes and people go their own ways.

    My sincere condolences.
    Susan (Gempka) Ferrara

  28. Tricia (Cain) Provost says:

    Jamie so sorry to read of the loss of your Mom. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. ??

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