Wally Harrison leaves this world peacefully.
After a few years of slow decline, the vibrant, funny, active Poulsbo resident passed away on November 25, leaving behind his adult children, granddaughters and their families, and a passel of friends and admirers in Kitsap and across the nation.
Wally Harrison was best known for his WallyCars, the little wooden toys he crafted along with Roger Schmuck and sent to third-world countries. He was also known as a frequent boating enthusiast, and a man with an optimistic outlook on how anything could be done better.
What many don’t know is that he grew up in New Jersey, joined the Marines and went to school in Colorado on the GI Bill. When most men of his generation picked an organization and stayed with it until retirement, Wally was more restless and curious about the world. He worked as a farmhand, a cowboy (yes, really), played football in the Marines, worked in nearly every part of the Hormel Company hierarchy, moving his young family to every cattle town in the Midwest. He was CEO of three small companies; he worked in food equipment design, real estate, boat building, and custom-home building. He was Walter Mitty, sampling as much as he could with a fierce curiosity to learn more.
Wally never met a stranger. He could–and did–strike up a conversation with anyone he saw. But through it all, his life was grounded by the practical one in the pairing–his wife, Marge. When she died in December 2018, Wally became a bit untethered, clearly missing a part of himself. He made friends at Brookdale, and was known for teasing staff … but his focus and zest for life were never the same.
Perhaps they’ve reconnected in some place beyond …
Remembrances may be made to the Poulsbo Maritime Museum on Front Street in Poulsbo.