Ty Colin Harrison, 29, of Lolo, MT passed away Friday, January 1, 2021 in a fatal car accident between Monarch and Neihart over by Great Falls, MT. At the time of his passing, he worked for the US Forest Service as a Wildlife Technician in the Belt Creek Ranger District.
Ty was born November 9, 1991 in Missoula, MT to Jim and Carolyn Harrison. He was the youngest of 11 children.
He graduated from Lolo Elementary School and for a short period attended Sentinel High School. Ty then entered the MT National Guard Youth Challenge Program in Dillon, MT. A military style school, Ty excelled in all aspects of his education there, both physically and mentally. He graduated in Dec. 2008 from Class XIX at the top of his class being given the distinction of receiving the highest achievement plaque that the Program offers, the "Commandants' Award". As the top student, Ty was also the Cadet that was given the honor of representing the MT Challenge Program in Washington DC before the President of the United States. Due to Ty's entrance directly into the military, another Cadet represented the state of Montana in Ty's place.
On December 16, 2008 Ty joined the United States Army National Guard. Being deployed to Iraq in 2010-2011, he was a war veteran who served his country for 8 years. During that time, he received multiple military awards and attained the rank of Sergeant. He belonged to the 1-163rd Bravo Co., 1st Platoon as an Infantryman. His mentor in the Youth Challenge Program and throughout his military career was Col. Ike Slaughter (Ret.). In the words of his mentor, "Ty was a good soldier". This sentiment meant a great deal to Harrison.
In addition to his military career, Ty was also an accomplished martial artist. He trained all of his life with his father, Jim 'RONIN' Harrison, who was the founder of the Bushidokan style of martial arts. Ty achieved Black Belt ranking in three separate disciplines-- judo/jujitsu, karate/kickboxing and self-defense. He was one of the top Instructors in the family's martial arts academy.
Ty's love of the outdoors led him to further his education at the University of MT in the Wildlife Biology curriculum. He was granted an internship with the US Forest Service the first summer after starting at UM. He continued working each summer for the Forest Service, as an intern, until his graduation in May 2020 with a degree in Wildlife Biology. Ty 's continued employment with the US Forest Service found him studying for his GRE. His plan was to go to graduate school to specialize in Ornithology and then further pursue his career with the US Forest Service.
Ty was an avid outdoorsman. He was highly proficient in numerous types of extreme sports including rock climbing, kayaking, nordic and alpine skiing, and snowboarding. He loved hiking and took many trips with his buddies and his Forest Service co-workers.
Ty had many other interests as well. He learned carpentry from his dad and built a small swiss chalet style cabin on his property. He was an arborist and was quite proficient at tree climbing and trimmed trees for many people. Ty found pleasure in gardening because of all the hours he spent gardening with his brothers and sisters on the family property. One of his most favorites pastimes, though, was fly fishing. He fished for hours on every river he could find, practicing catch & release. This was his ultimate relaxation. Last, but not least, Ty was a genuine believer in education and read every book he could find.
Ty believed in people. He made everyone he met feel as if they were the most important person in the world. Always he was happy, with a smile and a joke for everyone. He was so willing to help anyone. He was loved by all who knew him and will be missed by many.
After his passing, Ty was cremated at the Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula, MT. Ty is survived by his mother, Carolyn (Johnson) Harrison, his uncle, Arlee Johnson, Choteau, MT, his aunt, Shirley Johnson, Choteau, MT along with 5 brothers and 3 sisters: Shawn (Debbie) Harrison, Ballwin, MO; Erin (Bob) Rath, Stanton, MO; Kris (Marielle) Harrison, Austria; Keli (Gina) Harrison, Sandpoint, ID; Cody Harrison, Sandpoint, ID; Valkyrie Harrison, Lolo, MT; Tania (Matt) Brazda, Missoula, MT and Thor Harrison, Lolo, MT, not only his brother but his best friend. He also leaves behind 25 nieces and nephews and 6 cousins. Ty was preceded in death by his father, Jim (2020), his maternal grandparents, Chris (1981) and Marguerite (2006) Johnson, his paternal grandparents, E. Ray (1991) and Mildred (2003) Harrison, his uncle Forrest Lee Johnson (2017), two brothers, Dirk (1976) and Lance (1982) and a nephew, Trevor Harrison (2011).
A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm in the Hamilton Seventh Day Adventist church, 117 West Bridge Road, Hamilton, MT.
Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula.