ALVARADO — Gisela H. Harrison passed away Monday, Oct. 19, 2009, at the age of 80.

Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Anthony's Episcopal Church of Alvarado. Interment will be at 3 p.m. in Garden of Memories Cemetery, Stephenville. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Clayton Kay-Vaughan Funeral Home, Alvarado.

Memorials may be made to a charity of choice or Meals on Wheels of Johnson County, 1601 N. Anglin, Cleburne, Texas 76031, where Gisela developed, and still maintained, loving friendships with many of its volunteers.

She was born Feb. 25, 1929, in Elbing, West Prussia, to Adolf Goering and Hedwig Arndt Goering. Gisela was a very strong and courageous survivor or war-torn Germany, losing her mother at the age of 14 after fleeing the advancing Russian army. She graduated from high school and apprenticed for three years as an office assistant in Germany where she worked until meeting, on a train, her future husband, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Edwin A. Harrison of Stephenville. They married while in Germany on April 6. 1955. Later, they moved to Texas where she taught herself to speak, read and write English. She obtained her cosmetology license and worked at salons in Fort Worth and Burleson. During this time, she met longtime friends Marilyn Patterson and son Lance Walker, whom she provided child care for several years. Although Gisela never had children, she loved them, animals, classical music, literature and working in her flowerbeds. Her beautiful yard and garden were a source of great pride, winning the local Garden Club of the Month Award.

With special thanks and love for the care given to Gisela by her doctors, Dr. Lalitha Jagadish, Dr. Hisham Bismar, Dr. Arvind Nana, Dr. Louis Cristol and Dr. Tariq Yunus, their staffs and hospitals, also to the staff at Plaza at Ridgmar, Kindred, Lifecare, Huguley and Huguley Home Health and Harris Hospital for their care and concern.

With special love to Gisela's "babysitters," Bertha Randle and Marla Mann with Professional Caretakers, and "a promise is a promise" Marie Fontenot. Thanks to all the many newfound friends and "angels" at Bridgeway Hospice and Home Health. Gisela was a devout Catholic and loved all the many friends she had at St. Anthony's Episcopal Church, Alvarado. A special thank-you to Father Mitchell for his love and attendance to Gisela's spiritual needs. She also shared her faith with many friends in various denominations, such as Larry and Jerrine Serry (whom she loved dearly); the members of Seventh-day Adventist Church, Alvarado; and Jim and Dorothy Seelbach and members at Full Gospel Tabernacle, Alvarado. She truly was a one-woman ecumenical example. Thank you to Alvarado Veterinary Hospital for the care given to Gisela and to all of her beloved pets throughout the years.

Special thanks to all of her friends at Procuts and Wells Fargo Bank in Burleson.

Gisela was greatly admired for her strength and courage in all times and her abiding sense of humor. She captured the hearts of many and will always be remembered. With heartfelt love and appreciation to Linda and Richard Holtz, Susan and Jerry Shaw, Minchen Bernard and Judy Andresen, and all of her many friends and neighbors, like Leonard and Dayle Lewis and Edgar and Robin Artecona, who helped Gisela throughout the years, who visited, called often, prayed for and loved the incredible person that she was.

 Survivors include cousins Werner Pulschke and Maria Burdieck of Germany; and the many distant relatives on her husband's side.

Published October 21, 2009

Stephenville Empire-Tribune