Reginald Woodrow Harrison, Senior
(1916 - 1993)

Reginald Woodrow Harrison Senior
Nickname: Woody

North Carolina, United States of America
November 7, 1916

Virginia, United States of America
October 3, 1993

Reading,Teaching,gardening,and painting
Reginald Woodrow Harrison was born on November 7th, 1916 in Wilson, North Carolina. Woody, as he was known, was the son of a prominent tobacco farmer, Mr. Oscar Harrison and his wife Mrs. Emma Flowers Harrison.

He and his family lived on Tilghman Road when he was young and then moved to a house further in town on the corner of Park Avenue and Broad Street so he could walk to school. He graduated from Charles L. Coon High in 1933 after winning the State Latin Championship. Right after graduating from Wake Forest University in 1937, he and his first wife, Kate Lamm Harrison, eloped marrying in Rockville, Maryland. She left Salem College before graduation in Winston-Salem. Woody and Kate moved to Paris from 1937 until 1938 so Woody could study at the Sorbonne receiving a French certificate.

As World War II was approaching, the couple set off for New York so Woody could attend Columbia University. He graduated from Columbia in 1939 with a Masters Degree in French and Education. Right after Columbia, Woody was accepted into medical school at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, finding out it was not his vocation after the first year. Instead he studied the Romance Languages of Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese from 1939-1940. After completing his studies at University of North Carolina, Woody went on to teach French and Spanish at Lenoir City School in Lenoir, North Carolina.

By 1942, the couple moved to Washington DC and his first son, Reginald Woodrow Harrison Jr, was born. Woody had moved to Washington DC for a job as a research analyst with the Department of Defense, where he worked on a code-breaking and language project known as the Venona Project. The Venona project was a counter-intelligence program initiated by the United States Army Signal Intelligence Service (a forerunner of the National Security Agency) that lasted from 1943 to 1980. Although Woody specialized in Romance Languages, he knew 13 languages in total, including Russian and German, the two languages that would have been most helpful during his time working on the Venona Project. He worked until 1952 with the Office of Strategic Services, OSS, and the precursor organization to the CIA.

Woody became Chief of Language Services at the Pan American Union in Washington, DC which he joined in 1953. He was also a professor at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he taught French and Spanish. Having divorced in 1952 he met his second wife, Olga Moreira, at the Pan American Union sometime after 1954 where she worked as a Secretary in the communications department. They had their first son William in 1957, second son Charles in 1959, and only daughter Ann in 1962.

Woody was promoted to Assistant to the Director of the Pan American Union in 1959. This position had him assist in the implementation of policy to the units that provided editorial, conference, documents, and language services to different parts of the Organization of American States. He also assisted with the organization of conferences by member OAS governments.
He never forgot his roots and traveled as many times as possible to Wilson, North Carolina to visit with his sister and brother.

Woody would later pass away October, 1993. Today he is survived by his four children, R. Woodrow Jr. (Woody), William (Bill), Charles (Charley), Ann and grandchildren Reggie, Elizabeth, Colleen, Benjamin, Jimmy, Olga and several great grandkids.

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Guest Book (2 entries)
I bet you were the best grandpa ever! We all miss you.
Olga Harrison (Grandaughter)
December 22nd, 2013
This is the memorial I set up for Reginald Harrison. To sign the guest book, click on the "Sign Guest Book" button below.
Charley Harrison
December 22nd, 2013
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"On this Father's Day I especially miss you. You made it all look so easy, and now I know how really challenging the journey can be. Love you, Charley"
Charles Harrison
June 21st, 2015
"All though i never got to meet you, I bet you were the best grandpa!!! We all miss you. Love, Olga Harrison"
Olga Harrison
December 22nd, 2013


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