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Lifelong Five Towner John Harrison, 75


Not one to stand still and let grass grow under his feet, unless he was playing golf at the Seawane Country Club in Hewlett Harbor, John Harrison was constantly on the go, as the Woodsburgh resident built not one, but two businesses in the course of his working life.

Harrison, a lifelong Five Towns resident, died on April 24. Two days shy of his 76th birthday.

Born in on April 26, 1945 in New York City, to Jordan Stern and Joan Sabel Stern, he was adopted by his step-father, Harold Harrison in 1957, three years after his father died. Harrison, Hewlett High School class of 1964, met Carol Kerr during that time. The couple wed a few years later and were married for 52 years.

He headed Harrison, Leifer DiMarco, a company that at one time was based in Rockville Centre, was named one of the 25 fastest growing advertising and public relations firms on Long Island in 1999 and seven years later he won the 2006 Long Island Advertising Person of the Year Award.

“He was incredibly motivated and always found room for one more chapter,” said daughter Pamela Harrison-Ludwick, noting his continuing work in advertising and helping businesses to establish their unique brand.

Even after a four-decade career that included establishing the largest advertising, public relations and digital agency on Long Island with more than 60 accounts and employing 45 people, Harrison could not stay out of the game. He and Debbie Darlnuc-Warrack established a branding business in 2011, The Brand Compound.

Harrison spent “many fulfilled and happy hours with his family and fellow members” at the Seawane Club, Harrison-Ludwick said. He served on the club’s Board of Directors and in various positions over a 25-year period. Harrison also served on the Board of Directors of Nichols College for 10 years and the Board of Advisors for 12 years.  

In 2012, he was a 13-handicap golfer and told Newsday how much he loved to workout, play tennis and golf but that none of that could bring him the daily fulfillment that he needed – the rewards of working, his daughter said.

Above all, John cherished his relationship with people be it family, friends or business,” his family said. “He greatly enjoyed finding the sweet spot that made the relationship work. He was a sportsman and a bibliophile. He has left a legacy of love for all those that touched his life and he will be greatly missed,” Harrison-Ludwick said.

A devoted husband, Harrison is survived by his wife Carol Kerr Harrison. He was a loving father to Pamela and Wendi. Future father-in-law to Gianfranco Arena. He was the cherished grandfather of Maximillian and Roland, Eleanor, Gianluca, Nicholas and Lily. Brother to Andrew and Susan Harrison. A devoted uncle to Joshua, Zachary and Scott, and a beloved brother-in-law to Michael and Susie Kerr and Jennifer Harrison.