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David  Harrison

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Joyce Funeral Home

245 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02453
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Memories & Candles

“My condolences to Gloria and David's family. As his Cambridge letter carrier I enjoyed talking to David on the front steps from time to time...Read More »
1 of 17 | Posted by: Leo Lodi - Peabody, MA - Friend

“My sincerest condolences to Gloria and to the entire Harrison family. ”
2 of 17 | Posted by: Marianne Vargas Conway

“Sincere condolences to the family. ”
3 of 17 | Posted by: Kathleen Clinton - Cambridge, MA

“To David's family,Please accept my sincere condolences on your recent loss. I run an annual tennis tournament each year and every year I look...Read More »
4 of 17 | Posted by: aki Wolfson - oakland gardens, NY

“Mike,I am so sorry for your loss. We were just talking about your brother David after I lost my Brother recently. Please know that my thoughts and...Read More »
5 of 17 | Posted by: Jack Bono - Danvers, MA

“David was always smiling and overcame so many adversities and still kept a smile on his face. He loved a challenge and excelled with it, and won...Read More »
6 of 17 | Posted by: Ruth Bacon - Citrus Springs, FL

“I remember David as a young basketball player at Cambridge High & Latin School. He was always filled with enthusiasm and always gave his best effort...Read More »
7 of 17 | Posted by: Paul Lyons - Belmont, MA

“What a great, kind man! An inspiration. ”
8 of 17 | Posted by: Jessie Valente - Cambridge, MA

“What a great kind man! ”
9 of 17 | Posted by: Jessie Valente - Cambridge, MA

“David was a very sweet caring man . I enjoyed the time I had with him and his wife . They are two wonderful people .I hope you rest with the angels...Read More »
10 of 17 | Posted by: Sharon Douglas - Cambridge, MA

“I have known the Harrison family most of my life, i have much love for their family, the brothers played softball with my dad, and i even baby sat...Read More »
11 of 17 | Posted by: Cheryl Ianno - Black - Middleburg, FL

“There are no words to express how sorry I am for your loss and how deeply missed David will be. I am very blessed that I had the time and pleasure...Read More »
12 of 17 | Posted by: Janette Giso - Chelsea, MA

“My heartfelt condolences go out to Gloria and the entire family. It was a honor and joy to know David. He will be sorely missed by all who loved...Read More »
13 of 17 | Posted by: Marjorie Berger - Winchester, MA

“So very sorry about David's illness and ultimate passing. He was such a nice guy! I'm thinking and praying for David (and for Gloria). ”
14 of 17 | Posted by: Linda Ferullo - Hingham, MA

“ Sharing in your sorrow and offering heartfelt sympathy. ”
15 of 17 | Posted by: Maureen Santoro - Hingham, MA

“I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Mr. David Harrison. There are no words that can ease the pain of losing...Read More »
16 of 17 | Posted by: Marilynn - MI

“To the Harrison Family:Please accept my deepest sympathies. You are in my thoughts and prayers.Sincerely,Michael Sullivan ”
17 of 17 | Posted by: Michael Sullivan - Cambridge, MA


Cambridge - At the young age of sixteen David Harrison learned that in adversity lies opportunity. He suffered a spinal-cord injury while sledding on a toboggan in a Quincy golf course. He never let the limitation or confinement to his wheelchair define him. In fact . . . he excelled and seized every activity and opportunity available.

David died at home on Friday, January 12, 2018. after an illness. He was 65.

Born on September 30, 1952 in Arlington he was a son of the late Donald M. and Mary (Silva) Harrison. A lifelong Cambridge resident he graduated from Massachusetts Hospital School in Canton. With a firsthand knowledge he worked as a certified orthotist and prosthetist for the Department of Veterans Affairs spinal cord center in West Roxbury. He would fabricate and fit patients with orthotics that eventually made artificial limbs. Dave enjoyed retirement after 36 years in 2011. He married Gloria Cartagena at the Paine Estate in Waltham on October 16, 1982.

Dave was active in sports all his life. Prior to his accident he played baseball in the Babe Ruth league in East Cambridge, ran cross country, track and played JV basketball at Latin. He was involved in the New England Paralyzed Veterans Association's Blazer and was selected as guard for the USA Paralympics basketball team in 1976 in Toronto in which they won the gold medal and was inducted to the New England Conference Hall of Fame. When receiving this award, Armand 'Tip' Thiboutot said 'he is as close to what I would describe as a mistake-free player as anyone I ever coached…a fine defensive player with excellent speed and quickness in relation to other players.'

He represented and participated in the 32nd National Wheelchair Championship's rower in the amateur division in a single-pontoon rigged racing shell. He played tennis for over 25 years, both here in Massachusetts and at their home in Citrus Springs, Florida. He looked forward to the annual pilgrimage to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York for the Jana Hunsaker Memorial. He rode in countless 5 and 10k road races and Boston's half-marathon

Throughout his life he remained positive despite his injuries and remained mindful of the many blessings he had throughout his life.

In addition to his parents he is predeceased by his brother Donald M. Harrison Jr. and sister, Joyce Sanchez.

In addition to his wife of 35 years, Gloria Cartagena Harrison, he leaves his brothers, Michael Harrison and his wife, Jerry of Topsfield and Douglas Harrison and his wife, Sheila of Tewksbury; his father-in-law, Camilo Cartagena of Citrus Springs, Florida; his sisters-in-law, Carmelin Gosselin and her husband, Steve of Citrus Springs, Florida and Linda Harrison of Ocala, Florida; also survived by many nieces & nephews.

Family and friends will honor and remember David's life by gathering for a calling hour on Saturday, January 20th from 12 – 1 pm in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham. His Celebration of Life will follow at 1 p.m. in the funeral home. Burial is private.

In lieu of flowers memorials in his name may be made to Don Harrison Foundation, 2300 SE 17th Street, Suite 200, Ocala, Florida 34471 (www.donharrisonfoundation.org)or Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168 (www.dana-farber.org).