Life Story / Obituary
Helen Harrisson (Nee: Fight) passed away peacefully at her home on August 7, 2021, at the age of 96. Her husband Robert died in May, 2020. She is survived by two daughters, Judith Pannozo and Sandra Young, four grandchildren, Connie Pannozo Iannello, Andrew Pannozo, Ariel Young Shibilski and Ryan Young. She has five great grandchildren.
Helen was born in Corinth, Kentucky on November 27, 1924 to Effie and O.B. Fight. Sisters Augusta, Dorothy, Evelyn and brothers Paul and Silas all predeceased her.
Helen left home when she was eighteen to move to Cincinnati, Ohio where she became an elevator operator in the Shillito’s building, moving on to sales and finally being hired by a cosmetic firm, Charles of the Ritz, to travel the country promoting their products and teaching women how to care for their skin.
In 1967, her husband was hired by Western Publishing and they moved to Racine, Wisconsin. Their home became a hub of entertaining new friends, bridge, amazing food she prepared herself, and laughter. Even so, she made time to work with the Women’s Auxiliary volunteering her time at what was then St. Luke’s Hospital.
Some years later, Helen and Bob opened a bookstore in downtown Racine called Books ‘R’ Fun, and started a company called Pack ‘N’ Ship.
She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and great grandmother. In the weeks before her passing, she was able to spend time with her entire family, and that meant everything to her.
Who she was is perhaps best summed up by one of her granddaughters, Ariel:
“My Grandma, Mimi, passed away after 97 years of being fabulous. Stoic, petite, and witty, homemade everything, hair always coiffed and nails always done. The way she would say, “Oh Bob” to my Grampa PopPop is stuck in my head. They were always together, so I’m happy to think they’re perhaps together again having a cocktail hour and talking about the condo politics. She was the grandma who helped you learn how to knock the dirt off when you fell and to pick yourself back up - then make you some of the real pudding with the skin on it that took a long time to cook, handing you a nail file while you waited, just in case you need to shape your nails. Love you Mimi.”
Private services were held.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Helen’s caregivers Bonnie Muniz and Lorrie Peterson for their loving and compassionate care.