September 15, 1950-April 10, 2017
Dr. Phil Harrison passed away from ALS on April 10, 2017, following a beautiful weekend with his family. He was born to Jack Harrison and Edith Weems Harrison on September 15, 1950 in Neosho, MO. He graduated from Neosho High School in 1968 and the University of Arkansas in 1972, where he was a member of the Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa. Phil then went on to earn his medical degree at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Following graduation, he completed specialty training in Internal Medicine. He then traveled and worked in various locations around the world before returning to MU to complete a fellowship in Gastroenterology. In 1985 he began his private practice of 20 years in Joplin, Missouri.
Phil was a lifelong student, always curious. He constantly sought educational opportunities through travel and discovery, and often brought others along for the ride. His love for teaching prompted him to buy a school bus for educational field trips with his young son and friends, known as the 'Short Bus Rangers'. During his retirement, he enjoyed his time as a substitute science teacher at Joplin High School. His enthusiasm for education eventually led him to MU where he worked as a clinical instructor teaching Gastroenterology fellows. In recent years, he would lovingly remind his grandchildren to 'learn three things' every day at school.
Phil had a passion for travel. He immersed himself in the adventure, and loved 'eating regiona'. As a private pilot, he and his wife, Nancy, of 31 years traveled across the USA and Canada. Together, they enjoyed their many travels around the world. Phil was also an avid fly fisherman and enjoyed fishing trips with his son.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy and his children: daughter, Abigail (Ryan) Fleming of Overland Park, Kansas; sons, Gabriel (Courtney) Grimaldi of Olathe, Kansas and Matthew Harrison, M.D. of Kansas City, Missouri; three grandchildren, William Fleming, Elizabeth Fleming and Carson Grimaldi; brother-in-law, Paul (Martha) Bergant of Rogers, Arkansas and three nieces and their families. He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 14, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Joplin. Father Justin Monaghan will officiate. Graveside services will be at 2:30 p.m. at the Neosho IOOF Cemetery in Neosho. The family will receive friends at a time of visitation on Thursday evening from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Clark Funeral Home in Neosho. Those serving as pallbearers will be Rick Webster, Rick Davidson, Keith Grebe, M.D., Dean Willis, Wayne Anderson, Randy Nichols, M.D., Dale Penn, Alden Buerge and G. L. Tucker. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Phil's memory may be made to the ALS Association or Joplin Schools Foundation in his name, in care of Clark Funeral Home, PO Box 66; Neosho, Missouri 64850.
Online condolences may be posted at
Services under the care and direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho, Missouri.
Published on  April 12, 2017