Agnes Gant Harrison
© Loudoun Times-Mirror
Agnes Gant Harrison, 94, of Southern Pines, NC, died peacefully at her home in Penick Village on the evening of January 15, 2013, after a long and fruitful life. She was the widow of Burr Powell Harrison, Jr., to whom she was married for sixty years until his death in 2000. Before moving to Penick Village in 1998, they lived in his home town of Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia, where their partnership was a dynamic force in the civic life of the community.Agnes was born in Burlington, North Carolina on April 10, 1918, the oldest child of Roger Gant and Agnes Ravenel Gant.She graduated as an Honor Student from Hollins Collegein the Class of 1938. In Leesburg, she and Powell raised four children, and were active members of St. James Episcopal Church, where Agnes served as president of the Women of the Church. Together, they were pioneers in the conservation and preservation movement. She founded Keep Loudoun Beautiful in 1970, and served as its President for over a decade, lobbying on behalf of litter control, mandatory deposits on glass bottles, and landfills. She was an avid and skilled horticulturalist, and was the inspiration behind many gardening projects, including the restoration of the formal gardens at Oatlands Plantation, a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She was a member of the Leesburg Garden Club, the Fauquier and Loudoun Garden Club, the Garden Club of Virginia (where she served on the Board), and later in Southern Pines, the Weymouth Garden Club. She received a Garden Club of America Conservation Award in 1976. The garden at the Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg is named in honor of Powell and Agnes Harrison, and they were jointly awarded the Loudoun History Award in 1997 by the Thomas Balch Library Commission. Agnes supported the work of the Oatlands Council which her husband founded and chaired, by hosting numerous social and fund-raising events in their home. and planned three Workshops in England", under the sponsorship of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, for the purpose of allowing Virginias civic leaders to study how the English handled urban planning and environmental issues. In later years, Agnes supported her husbands passion to restore and protect from commercial development the Leesburg home of Gen. George C. Marshall, Dodona Manor. For the past fifteen years, Agnes has led a full life at Penick Village, and was grateful to the staff there for the good care she received. She served two terms as President of the Residents Council. She is survived by a large family, including her children: B. Powell Harrison, III, and his wife Anne, of Roswell, GA; Ravenel Rhoads of Southern Pines, NC; Lalla Saleeby and her husband Dudley, of Florence, SC; Catherine Kelly ("Cackie") of Whispering Pines, NC; twelve grandchildren: B. Powell Harrison, IV of Biarritz, France; Stuart Harrison of Denver, CO; Leven Harrison of Charleston, SC; and Julien Harrison of Eugene, OR; Meade Rhoads and Edmund Rhoads of Alexandria, VA; Thom Rhoads of Portland, ME; and Parke Rhoads of Boston, MA; Catherine McDowell of Raleigh, NC; Wilson Saleeby of Hardeeville, SC; Betsy Kelly of Los Angeles, CA; and Virginia Kelly Trigg ("Ginny") of Southern Pines; and nine great-grandchildren. She is also survived by three siblings: Erwin Gant Burhoe of Asheville, NC; Catherine Gant Powell of Washington, NC; and Edmund R. Gant of Burlington, NC; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.A celebration of Agnes life will be held in Leesburg, VA, on Friday evening, January 25th, the family will welcome friends at Dodona Manor from 5 to 7 pm. Funeral services will be held at St. James Episcopal Church at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 26th, followed by interment at Union Cemetery.In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to Penick Foundation, PO Box 2001, Southern Pines, NC 28388; Dodona Manor, 217 Edwards Ferry Road, Leesburg, VA 20176; or Oatlands, 18150 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA 22075. Online condolences may be left at:www.bolesfuneralhome.com Boles Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. in Southern Pines will be assisting the family. "