William Bland Harrison, Jr. April 25, 1921 - January 7, 2024

January 26, 2024

William Bland Harrison, Jr., 102 of Stamford passed away on January 7, 2024. A graveside sunrise service will be held at 7:42 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2024 in Highland Memorial Cemetery. A memorial service will be held later that day at 3:00 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church. He was born on April 25, 1921, the second child and only son to Leanora and W.B. (Dub) Harrison Sr.. He was the older brother of Nancy Ruth (Russell) and took that job seriously. Bland graduated from Stamford High School and attended Texas A & M University, where he graduated in 1942 (Class of ‘43) and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt in the U.S. Army. He married his life-long love, Sophia Ann Nelson, on May 10, 1943. After completing training at Ft. Polk and Ft. Sill, he departed for Europe to fight with the 771st Field Artillery Battalion and served as a forward observer and aerial spotter directing fire support. He also served as the Battalion communication officer and received the Bronze Star for his actions in the Battle of the Bulge. The 771st Field Artillery Battalion drew the praise of General Patton and was assigned to support the 3rd Army for the remainder of the European campaign. His stories of WWII include many miracles he attributed to God’s grace and work in his life. It would appear that his good character and bridge skills were also at play. Bland was very humble about his military service and frequently stated “He was just doing his duty to our country”. The Red Cross notified him that his daughter, Victoria Ann, was born on January 13, 1945. Bland and Sophia returned to Stamford, TX in 1947 to raise their family. Their son, William Bland Harrison III, (Dub) was born on July 28, 1947. Bland helped his father work the family farms and businesses until he began his career with the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) offices at district and state levels. The ASCS was an agency of the US Department of Agriculture that became the Farm Service Agency in 1994. He served as State Executive Director of ASCS for US Department of Agriculture, by appointment of the President, from July 1972 – June, 1973, when he lived in Bryan/College Station. He and Sophia returned to build the home they loved on the fairway between the 6th and 7th holes of the Stamford Country Club.

Bland was a talented golfer. He would never brag about his golf game but Sophia would! Bland was a loyal fan of the Stamford Bulldogs and Texas Aggies. He was a lifelong member of Central Presbyterian Church where he served as Clerk of the Session for many years and worshiped regularly. He loved his church family and had a very special relationship with previous ministers, Jerry Boles, Ron Holloman, and Kelly Piggott. Bland is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Sophia, and her brother, James K. Brady Nelson and his first wife, Audrey Nelson; his parents, Leanora and William Bland (Dub) Harrison, Sr.; his sisters, Bobbie Nell and Nancy (Norris) Russell; and by a host of other family and friends who lived on in his memory. He is survived by Victoria Harrison (Jay Wehnert); granddaughter, Elizabeth Moreland -Mason (Jeffrey Mason) and children: Sara Mason (Jacob Stinnett) and David Mason; by William Bland Harrison III (Dub) and his wife, Leslie, and children: Wendy (Slade Nicholson) and children, Kaley (Cameron Kapke), Kameryn Mathis, and Jonathan (Megan) Nicholson; Will Harrison IV (Whitney) and sons, Jody, Jud, and Jake; and by Wesley Harrison (Kislah Presnall) and son, Wyatt. He is also survived by his nephew Dr. Norris Russell and family, Jeremy (Sally) Russell, Ainslee, Gracie, Simon and Samuel Russell and by his brother-in-law’s widow, Eddie Mattei Nelson along with his niece, Felicia Nelson. He would want mention as well of Barbara Harrison (widow of his cousin, Bob Harrison) as a special friend and neighbor. Many people in Stamford were special to Bland, none more than Jane Hodges, Minnie Camacho, and Shonda and Gary Apple who helped him live the last years of his life at home as independently as possible.