Rulon Kurland Harrison passed away in his sleep on April 24, 2023. He was born November 25, 1948 to Vestil Schofield Harrison and Catherine May Kurland Harrsion in Centerville, Utah. He and his twin brother, Vestil, were born prematurely. Vestil passed within hours and Rulon was named after Dr. Rulon Smith whose heroic efforts saved his life. He was the brother of Cecelia (Cece), Lani, Richard, and twin brother Vestil. He spoke fondly of his childhood and the love he felt in his childhood home. He loved Centerville and was proud to be a forever member of the Centerville 1st Ward.
He attended Viewmont High, where he met “Pinkie” Elline Huber. They were high school sweethearts and married after graduating from the University of Utah. They raised a family of five children – John (Suzanne), Matthew (Andrea), Spencer (Christina), Peter (Tia), and Melissa (Davis Bell) - and twenty grandchildren. He gave his kids common names since his was often mispronounced.
He was a smile beneath a red mustache for most of his life, covering a scar that was hardly noticeable once shaved but something he felt the need to hide.
He grew up a star athlete and loved sports. He was a fan of the Jazz and the Utes and loved to watch the games with his family. He was a coach. Brimming with encouragement and pride for his teams. He could throw a baseball or move with a basketball with striking dexterity, belying his age. He loved to coach his children and their friends.
He was a teacher, sneaking his kids algebra problems, avidly attending parent teacher conferences then bringing home detailed hand written notes. He instilled in his children the importance of an education and encouraged them all to go and learn and continued to do the same with his grandchildren. He always cheered on everyone’s successes.
He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Utah Law School. He never practiced law but he kept his license current and could often be found helping neighbors out with various legal issues. It was a way he felt he could help.
He was an aspiring entrepreneur, and built Centerville Mobile Estates where in the winter he could be found plowing the roads in his big white truck.
He struggled. And he hid his struggles. A broken heart. A fading memory.
At times he was gregarious and openly friendly. At others he was a recluse.
As memory faded, he repeated the same stories. Most of them showcasing a sense of deep pride in his children. A hope for their future even as he lost sight of his.
He was curious. He wondered why people didn’t ask deeper questions in Sunday School. At the same time he was encircled by routines he couldn’t escape. He would say, “I was born and raised in Centerville, and I never escaped.” He was the George Bailey of his own movie.
He has now escaped, passing away peacefully in his sleep on April 24, 2023, in Bountiful, Utah.
How often do we go by our names? For our families we might be son, brother, dad, grandpa, in the community we might be coach, brother Harrison, or the old man with the University of Utah hat walking the little white dog. Our identities are mosaics, we are different people at different times to distinct audiences.
What holds us together is perhaps less what we take from our experiences and more what we leave behind: the hope we give to others. Rulon, with his unique name and mustache, amidst charm and mistakes, gave that hope to others in portions that will last the rest of their lives.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, April 28, 2023 at the LDS Church, 160 South 300 East, Centerville, Utah, where a viewing will be held from 9:00 - 9:45 a.m. prior to services. Interment - Centerville City Cemetery.
Services will be streamed live on the Russon Mortuary & Crematory Facebook page and on this obituary page. The live stream will start 10-15 minutes prior to the services and will be posted below.