Doc Harrison's Funeral Expenses
Organized by: Chris Knight
Hello, while some donations have been submitted to the funeral home, we still have a ways to go. Please assist if you can, every penny helps.
If you don't know Doc was my step brother for over 40 years.
Doc's Father (Melvin) still needs assistance with Doc's funeral expenses, here is Doc's story as it appeared in the Greeneville Sun. Posted: Monday, March 14, 2016
BY WAYNE PHILLIPS | -
“Doc” Harrison was my friend. He died suddenly Saturday night and his loss is being felt by many. Actually “Doc” was a friend to many people. But the friendship we shared over the past 35 years or so was special. Eugene was his real name, but nobody called him that. He introduced himself as “Doc,” and the only time I ever really thought about “Eugene” was when I would see his name pop up on my caller ID when he was ringing me up to hash over a ball game or an upcoming event. In fact the last time I heard from Doc was on Wednesday night. He had left me a message when I returned from church on Wednesday and it was simple: “Hey Wayne, this is Doc (like I didn’t recognize that familiar voice). If you go to Murfreesboro this week bring me back a program.” I would have brought him one, anyway. I always did. In fact I tried to bring him programs from most of the sporting events I covered over the time I knew him. Doc was a little man. People that didn’t know him real well wouldn’t believe that he was 50 years old. He had a body that had been subject to a lot of pain over the years. His diabetic seizures were well-known by his friends. I had seen him go through a couple of those over the years, and it was scary. Yes, Doc’s stature was tiny, but he had a heart that was as big as a mountain. Every school has an alumnus similar to Doc, somebody who graduates from a particular school and continues to follow that school loyally throughout adulthood. But there was nobody like “the Doctor.” I think the only time that I ever saw him without a West Greene High School jacket, shirt or baseball cap was a couple of years ago when he fell and broke his hip and was seriously ill in the hospital in Johnson City. We really thought we were going to lose him then, but he recovered and resumed the life that he loved: following sports, particularly West Greene athletics. I first met Doc when he was still in high school. He was the scorekeeper for the ball teams, and he was the best I’ve ever seen at that. He would call the newspaper after every game, win or lose, and his stats were always spot on. Since those days, Doc has rode “shotgun” with me to so many sporting events over the past three decades that it would be impossible to sum them up. Not just West Greene events. If his beloved Buffaloes were not playing, he might want to tag along to another of the local schools’ events just to watch the game. He just loved sports. And he loved anyone who had anything to do with sports. The players knew him. The coaches knew him. All the area media knew him. Our most recent ventures were to Hal Henard Gym in Greeneville for this year’s District 2-AA Basketball Tournament. I picked him up at his apartment in Mosheim every day and took him to the games, something that I had done countless times over the years. There were times when “Doc” would even go with me on Friday night, knowing that I would have to write a story on deadline after the game and he would have to wait around on me. Yes, there were times that it was inconvenient for me. But like his other friends tell me, it was just very hard to say no to Doc. He knew just about everybody on the western end of Greene County, or they knew who he was. He was such a fixture at West Greene games – whether it was football, basketball, softball…whatever – that you knew if he wasn’t there it just didn’t seem like a Buffs’ game. He knew coaches from all over East Tennessee and made a point to speak to them whenever he went to a game that one he knew was involved in. Invariably they would all warmly call him Doc. The legendary Charlie Bayless of Happy Valley even invited Doc to sit on his bench one night when the Warriors were playing West Greene. Doc respectfully smiled and declined. His love for West Greene probably began when he was in high school, but after graduation, he became even more well-known. He was a cherished scorekeeper/manager/sidekick to many sports at the school. He was still going strong this year. He helped in volleyball, a job he began with Coach Reese Baughard many years ago and decided to continue this year after Baughard’s retirement last season. He was at all home football games, keeping the scoreboard updated from his perch in the pressbox, a job he thought he would not be able to maintain after his hip surgery until he was told by many people that they would carry him to the pressbox if that’s what it took to keep him on the job. During this past basketball season, he sat alongside public address announcers Gary Gass and Bill Morrison, helping them pick up fouls and scoring totals. And he was looking forward to the upcoming softball season, with new Coach Kelly Beets taking over for the retired Coach Baughard. As you can see, Doc’s life was all about sports. When he wasn’t at a West Greene game, he was watching television. He particularly enjoyed watching University of Tennessee sports, especially the Lady Vols, and he was quick to call me over the past few seasons if his Uncle Floyd Melton had taken him to see the Vols. His importance to West Greene became even more widely known when the new field house was constructed at the football stadium. Larry Bible, principal at the time, loves to tell the story of how local businessman John Tweed, a former classmate of Doc’s all through elementary school at Mosheim and on to West Greene, agreed to pay a sizeable donation toward the construction of the building if the school was named in honor of Doc Harrison. Bible knew that would be no problem with the community. Tweed told Bible that on the night the building was dedicated, he wanted to be there with his son and daughter “so they could meet Doc Harrison.” I’ve never seen Doc more proud than he was that night when the field house officially became “the Eugene ‘Doc’ Harrison Field House.” There’s a sign on the building that states as much. Doc was also proud last spring when Reece Baughard, who along with Bible are two of Doc’s closest friends, retired from coaching and Doc was a big part of the ceremony honoring Baughard. Most all the former coaches at West Greene have a story or two to tell about Doc. Some are comical. Some are serious. But it’s obvious from all of them that they possess a love for that little man that is rare for somebody who graduated from the school over three decades ago. I let Doc out of my truck at his apartment the last night of the district tournament, and that’s the final time I spoke with him. “See ya next trip, Doc,” I said. “Yeah, I’ll see you soon,” Doc replied. “Probably at a ball game somewhere. I’ll be talking with you.” I’m sure gonna miss that little guy.