Sept. 6, 1929 – June 20, 2022
Marian Harrison, a retired Buffalo elementary school teacher and an artist, died June 20 after a period of declining health. She was 92.
Born Marian L. Wright in Buffalo, the oldest of three children, she attended School 17 and was an honor student and a member of the yearbook staff at Lafayette High School, graduating in 1947.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Central State College, now Central State University, a historically Black school in Xenia, Ohio, where she was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the nation’s first African American Greek organization for women. She went on to complete a master’s degree in elementary education at SUNY Buffalo State.
She married Gilbert I. Harrison, a career Air Force officer stationed at Niagara Falls, and lived in Omaha, Neb.; San Antonio, Texas; Bedford, England; and Frankfurt, Germany, when he was stationed there.
Mrs. Harrison taught elementary school at Chicksands Air Force Base in England, the Frankfurt Military Elementary School in Germany and the David Barker Elementary School in San Antonio. Returning to Buffalo, she taught at Schools 48, 53 and 37 before retiring in 1994 from School 36 Days Park Bilingual Early Childhood Center.
She first was a member of Peoples Community Church under the Rev. Derrick Byrd, where her parents were charter members. Following his death, she joined New Covenant United Church of Christ under the Rev. Will Brown.
An Amherst resident, in retirement she took lessons in painting and drawing at Partners in Art, a studio in North Tonawanda, and studied there for 10 years.
Her paintings were exhibited under the National Arts Program Project in Buffalo City Hall and the El Museo Gallery in Allentown. She won top honors in the project’s adult artist division for three consecutive years.
Survivors include two daughters, Celeste M. Lawson and Carolyn E. Walker; three granddaughters and two great-grandsons. Her husband died in 1992.
A celebration of her life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday in New Covenant United Church of Christ, 459 Clinton St.