The Obituary for Mrs. Marian “Tumpy” Blair Harrison (Lee County, AL & Oregon)


Marian Blair (Tumpy) Harrison passed away peacefully on August 16, 2020 in Eugene, Oregon. She was 95 years of age.

Marian was born to Louise Clayton Tillman and Lee Clyde Gammill in Little Rock, Arkansas, on January 16, 1925.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Allie Cleveland Harrison in Auburn, AL., on June 16, 2012 and by her older sister, Kathleen Gammill, on April 8, 2014 in Houston, TX.

Both Marian and Cleveland attended Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, and were married on June 22, 1946, soon after Cleveland was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army. They had a daughter and son, Kathleen Harrison and Lee Harrison.

Marian began her college education at Little Rock Junior College and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1945 with a degree in Southern History. She belonged to Pi Phi Sorority while attending the University of Arkansas.

Soon after her graduation, she moved to Washington D.C. where she worked at the Woodward and Lothrup department store until 1946.

After her marriage in 1946 to Cleveland, Cleveland earned an AA degree from Little Rock Junior College; BS and MA degrees in English, speech, and theater from Ohio State University; an MA in speech and dramatic arts from the University of Arkansas; and a PhD in drama and theater from University of Kansas. While at Ohio University in Columbus, Ohio, Marian worked at Farm Bureau as a file clerk and gave birth to their daughter, Kathleen, in 1950. Later while Cleveland pursued his degrees at the University of Arkansas, she gave birth to their son, Lee, in 1954. From 1963-1965 Marian did part time clerical work for the UA Music Department under the direction of Professor Bruce Benward. While Cleveland pursued his PhD at Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas, Marian did clerical work at the Child Research Bureau there.

While Cleveland, as Chairman of the Department at Auburn University, built the Theater program at Auburn University as well as oversaw the design and construction of the theatre facility at Auburn University, Marianor Tumpy as her friends called her did her part in supporting him in addition to entertaining Theater Department students. Her cookies and good cheer during Theater productions are legendary.

Marian was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Auburn for around 40 years and was an Emeritus member of the Woman’s Club of Auburn Alabama as well.

Sunset Hills Funeral Home 4810 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR. 97405 is directing.