CLIFTON BRENT HARRISON
September 6, 1955 – October 7, 2018
Clifton was born in Oakland, California to the proud parents of Arthur Charles Harrison, Senior of Quincy, Florida and Cora Louise Wren Harrison of Shepard, Texas. He was raised in a Christian home and believed in God. “Clif”, as he was so affectionately called, grew up and attended school in Richmond, California. In 1981 he moved to Oakland, California where he remained for the rest of his life.
Clif married his high school sweetheart, Mercedes Allen in 1985. To this union two children were born; a son Clifton Mercelis Harrison, and a daughter Virginia Louise Harrison.
In middle school he played Saxophone in a band for the school dances. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1973. While at Kennedy, Clif was in a special program to become an airline pilot; he piloted a small plane from the Oakland airport to Richmond and back. Clif loved all sports and transferred from Kennedy to Harry Ells to play quarter back; due to sports conference restrictions he decided to go back to Kennedy. At Kennedy he was on the debate team and was the catcher for the baseball team. After high school he played AA Baseball for the Oakland A’s organization.
Clif was very stylish and loved to dress well. He took great pride in his appearance; as his sister’s would tease… “it took him longer to get dressed than it did them”.
Clif was an entrepreneur and very resourceful; he explored many different career opportunities. He started his own carpet cleaning business, worked for the Oakland A’s in an administrative capacity; and with the Boy Scouts of America as a Para-Professional recruiter. Clif loved numbers and after attending H&R Block tax preparer school; he started his own business. Clif held the position of Campaign Manager for his father, Arthur Charles Harrison Seniors’, election bid for the West Contra Costa County School Board in 1988.
Clif’s deep passion was in the field of law. His father Arthur, had studied law and Clif was inspired by the many law books that were in the home. Clif graduated from St. Mary’s College of California, Moraga, Paralegal Program on September 26, 1986. Clif worked in his dream field of law as an American Bar Association Certified Senior Paralegal for over 32 years. He worked with several prestigious law firms and companies; including General Electric and Anolik Law Group. At the time of his passing he was contracted with the law firm of John N. Kitta & Associates in Fremont, California.
Clif was very active in Oakland Politics; as a member of the Oakland Tenants Union he spoke at numerous Oakland City Council meetings advocating for stronger tenant rights.
The Harrison’s land mark petition in response to a 112% capital improvement rent increase, was instrumental in changing Oakland’s Capital Improvement Rent Increase Ordinance. Education was very important to Clif and he was very active in his children’s and grandchildren’s schools.
In 2012, when faced with the closure of neighborhood schools, that affected his grandchildren, he fought to keep the schools open.
Clif was an excellent cook, and was the families go to guy. He hosted the family’s Annual Memorial Day BBQ, that was instituted by his father Arthur C. Harrison, Senior. “He had awesome skills on the BBQ grill!”
Clifton “Clif” leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife Mercedes Harrison, his son Clifton Mercelis Harrison and his daughter Virginia Louise Harrison; Grandfather “PaPa” of; Mikayla Camille Harrison, Cora Michele Harrison and Cameron Mekhi Tre Harrison. Special kindred parents Bettye & Robert Harrison. Siblings; Vera Jones, Etha “Faye” Jones, Joyce & David Albini, Sharlene Harrison, Arthur Jr. & Teresa Harrison. In-laws; Jamersina & (Louis deceased) Preston, Oscar & Liz Allen, Joseph Jennings, Margo & Michael Malone, and Naomi Allen. His last surviving aunt & uncle; Dorothy “Aunt Dot” Howell and Elder Morris Wren.
Clifton was preceded in death by his loving parents Cora & Arthur Harrison, Senior; grandparents Etha “Mama” Swaizey & Horace Wren; sisters Jeanette Harrison, Arlette
Harrison-Brown and Ada “Tiny” Roberts.
He also leaves to mourn his passing a host of beloved first cousins in Denver, Colorado, extended family members, special friends and colleagues.
We love you, but God loves you best.
Clifton B. Harrison, a loving devoted family man, a loyal friend, a community activist and a resident of Oakland for over 37 years,
passed away on Sunday, October 7, 2018 after a brief illness.
When: Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 11am
Where: Valley Bible Church Family Life Center
1477 Willow Avenue
Hercules, CA 94547