Neil E. Harrison passed away in his home in the early morning on Monday, March 6, 2023, surrounded by his wife of 67 years, Vernice, his son, daughter and grandchildren. He was 87 years old. Neil was born on the Harrison homestead on July 28, 1935 in Powell, Wyoming to Earl Harrison and Ethel Harrison née Caraveau. Neil and his sister, Joane, grew up on the homestead where their family farmed. Neil graduated from Powell High School in 1954. He met his wife, Vernice Loutt, daughter of Ed and Lydia Loutt, in Hardin, Montana in the fall of 1955 while working in the oil fields. In 1956, the couple married in Hardin and settled in Powell, Wyoming, where they had three children.
Neil enjoyed farming from an early age. He was known for driving the tractor for hours on end, without stopping. He farmed up until his last years of life with Vernice still bringing him lunch in the field while he drove equipment. The shop at Neil and Vernice’s farm was a local gathering place where neighbors and farmers congregated over coffee or beer, telling stories, giving advice and shooting the breeze. During his later years of life, Neil took immense pride in growing sweet corn and spent hours watching it grow from a swing shaded by the conifers in front of his home. He boasted it was the best sweet corn in the Basin and shared it generously with neighbors, friends and family.
Neil’s favorite hobbies included hunting, camping and fishing. He was the camp cook at the Elk’s Fork hunting camp and his favorite places to fish were Island Lake and Beartooth Lake in the summer and Sunshine Reservoir in the winter. Neil was well known for his excellent woodworking — building toys, furniture and other items like gun racks, wine holders and rocking horses for his friends and family. Neil served on the cemetery board, the Shoshone Irrigation District board, and FHA advisory board which supported farmers during hardships. On weekends, Neil would often take his wife and friends for long car rides in the country and to Yellowstone National Park.
Neil is survived by his wife, his three children Rick (Karlene) Harrison, Vicki (Louis) Hetzel, and Ned Harrison, 11 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. Neil took care of his family and was outspoken and friendly to everyone.
Community members, friends, and family are invited to celebrate the life of Neil at the Union Presbyterian Church in Powell on Wednesday, March 15, at 3 p.m. Reception to follow.