April 22, 1932 – March 12, 2017

Sunday March 12, 2017 our dearest brother exchanged the temporal for the eternal.  As he departed from his full and fruitful life of 84 years, his sweetheart and wife Era Mae reached out her hand from the gates of heaven to welcome the love of her life behind the veil into the presence of the Holy of Holies.  Era Mae made this same trip January 14, 2016 and we all know they are so happy to be reunited once again. 

There are givers and takers in this world; Fred was an exemplary example of being a giver.  As a husband, father, veteran, deacon, lodge member, woodworker and beekeeper John Fred Harrison used every waking moment of his rich life giving and serving others.  This page is a tribute that speaks to all who knew him, but certainly weighted with a slant from his fellow beekeepers. 

Fred and his longtime friend; and like a real brother Nolen Ballard, were burdened for years to pass on the art of beekeeping to an upcoming generation.  In the last quarter of 2014, Mr. Fred and Mr. Nolen organized and formed the Lower Alabama Beekeepers Association for the purpose of education, mentoring, promoting pollination and marketing.  Over the past 3 years, this association has grown into a vibrant exchange of ideas with a roster that has grown 60 strong.  With the global news of Hive Collapse Disorder, Fred and Nolen felt a personal burden and duty to pass on this lost art that impacts $15 billion annually in pollinating crops and another $150 million annually in honey production in the United States alone, not to mention globally.  Members of the association range from a one hive hobby enthusiast to serious commercial beekeepers. 

Fred has so many he has mentored and helped so many starting in beekeeping, He loved to teach the beginner’s class and we all loved to hear his stand up impromptu lectures.  Fred had a whimsical way about him. We can all see his eyes smile as he would smile and he would often say, “Beekeeping Is A Passion With Me.”  Fred saw his role in beekeeping as being one with God in the stewardship of this divine gift and asset of creation.

While in life we are always prepared for good news like babies being born, graduations, new jobs, promotions, marriages and the celebrations of life accomplishments; we never seem to be fully prepared to handle death.  Death is not something we are trained for; we have to live through it.  

John Fred Harrison was not only a role model giver and friend; he now lives out the testament before us one more final time in his deeply held Christian faith. Fred now joins Era Mae, the heavenly host and the great cloud of witnesses outlined in Hebrews 12:1 & 2: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin, which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Dearest Fred, you have now laid aside every weight, you ran with patience the race set before you, now you are living out the promise to see face to face the author and finisher of your faith, Jesus Christ. 

John Fred Harrison; Until We Meet Again Ole Friend!!

Lower Alabama Beekeepers Association