Margaret (Nicci) Harrison

Margaret (Nicci) Harrison

July 15, 1925 - December 27, 2017

Margaret (Nicci) Harrison passed away peacefully on Dec. 27 at home.

Nicci was born on July 15, 1925 to Walter and Ethel (Jarrett) Nicholson in Longview, Texas, the youngest of seven siblings. Her early school years were spent at Hockaday Prep School in Dallas, and in 1943 she graduated from Longview High School. While attending SMU in Dallas, she met her future husband, William Wood Harrison, of San Marcos. They married in Longview on June 4, 1944, and the newly weds would have one month together before the army sent Bill overseas. After Bill’s deployment the couple settled in San Marcos in 1946 where Bill managed his family’s business, the Harrison Department Store. With the growth of the family to four, motherhood opened new doors of extending love to her children and to others. She was an active member of the First Methodist Church and served as deacon.

The couple’s Veramendi home was always open to friends, especially to friends of her children. As a great Southern cook, she was known for her fabulous Angel Food Cake which she generously shared with others.

After Nicci and Bill went their separate ways, Nicci stayed in the Veramendi home and devoted herself to her children and a number of causes, with the focus on education for the special needs community. Naturally, when President Johnson established the Head Start, she advocated and became involved in the project. For her contributions, she was presented a, “Woman Doer of the Year,” award in person by President Johnson.

In 1970, Dr. Leland Burgum, Eleanor Crook, Celestino Mendez, Bill Toler, and Nicci founded the Scheib Opportunity Center. The founders emphatically insisted that, “all impaired individuals deserved a loud, consistent, and unwavering voice.” Nicci chaired the first Scheib board of directors. In 1973 the board created the, “Nicci Harrison Award,” to be given to a person for outstanding achievement in the program. She was the first recipient of an honor that continues to be awarded annually today.

Nicci, always active, embarked on a new course by working in the Drama Department at Southwest Texas State University where she met many of her lifelong friends.

In 1984 after surviving breast cancer, Nicci searched for the beauty in life and was drawn to the performing arts, where her love for the ballet grew. Some of her happiest times were when she shared this newly found love by chartering a bus packed with friends allowing them to attend the performances. For her ongoing support, Ballet Austin, in 1993, honored Nicci with their Grand Jete Award as, “A woman of great vision, energy, and charisma who has focused her exceptional talents on behalf of numerous civic and cultural institutions nationally and in Central Texas.”

She served many years on the board of Ballet Austin. She also had countless outings to the Houston Ballet with her large group of friends.

The Austin Symphony brought Nicci much pleasure as well. She served with distinction for many years on the Austin Symphony Board of Directors and upon her retirement was given the title, Director Emeritus.

She became also an ardent supporter of the Mid-Texas Symphony.

Nicci loved to travel and took wonderful photographs. When she discovered ice skating, a whole new focus developed as she traveled the world to national and international competitions. She was a well-known fan cheering on her favorite skaters and sharing her lovely photos with them.

First a member of the Unitarian Church of Austin, Nicci later joined the congregation in San Marcos. Nicci lived her life surrounded by life long cherished friends, of which, Lupe Martinez has been by her side for many years.

Nicci was predeceased by her son, Brian, daughter, Gayle, her Mother and Father, her siblings, Ronald, Dana, Frances, Virginia, Walter, and Ruth, and husband William Harrison.

She is survived by her sons, Bradley of San Marcos, Blake and his wife

Dominique of Glorieta, NM, and many nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews.

Nicci directed that her body be donated to The Living Bank, University of Texas Medical School in Galveston, for research purposes.

Memorial donations may be made to:

Austin Symphony Orchestra

1101 Red River

Austin, TX 78701


International Ballet Competition

P.O. Box 3696

Jackson, MS 39207


Mid-Texas Symphony

1000 W. Court St. #3216

Seguin, TX 78155


San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

P.O. Box 1053

San Marcos, TX 78667-1053


A celebration of Nicci’s life will be held on Jan. 20, 2018, 3 p.m., at the San Marcos Activity Center, 501 E. Hopkins, San Marcos, Texas.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666