Freda Wallace Harrison

Freda Wallace Harrison


Freda Wallace Harrison died Nov. 4, in Memphis, Tennessee, after a brief battle with cancer. 

She had recently celebrated 85 amazing years surrounded by all her family. 

Freda was born Sept. 24, 1938, in Oxford, Mississippi, and attended University High School. Freda attended Tulane College of Tulane University and worked at The Times-Picayune to help put Bob through school and continued working while he continued earning degrees. 

Freda joined her first garden club in Memphis in 1960. After moving to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, Freda couldn’t find a garden club near her new home. With the assistance of the Jackson Council of Garden Clubs, Freda helped organize a neighborhood club. She remained active in garden club activities for over 50 years, from her local club in Jackson to The Garden Clubs of Mississippi, The Deep South Region and The National Garden Clubs, Inc. 

She held every position from secretary to president and served the council on the board of Keep Jackson Beautiful. It is because of her knowledge, dedication and willingness to guide and give back that she was named Deep South Region Mentor of the Year. 

Freda received many honors for her work in these organizations. Mississippi State Parks commended her “In recognition of outstanding support that resulted in the beautification of parks, special funding, extensive improvements, major construction, new programs, additional services and increased support of the Mississippi State Parks.” Freda and Bob received the Garden Clubs of Mississippi Silver Trophy (the highest honor awarded to a member) for their many university scholarships given for education in horticulture and landscape architecture. The Jury Room at the Mississippi State University School of Landscape Architecture building has a plaque naming the room in her honor. She served on the board of the National Council of Garden Clubs for more than 15 years, and her work as a “Steward of Tomorrow” is commemorated with a plaque in the national headquarters in St. Louis. 

She also served on many church boards including at Jackson’s Wesley United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women, and as Conference member while at Jackson’s Christ United Methodist Church. 

After moving to Madison, she was an active member of St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church. Freda has also served as president of the Hermitage Club, a Mississippi Federated Women’s Clubs affiliate; served on the Willowwood Development Center’s Foundation Board and was a member of the Jackson Symphony Association, the Mississippi Museum of Art Rembrandt Society and the Mississippi International Ballet Society. 

Freda is predeceased by her parents, Edward Frederick and Pearl Celeste Wallace of Oxford; her sister Bettye Caroll of Florida; and her husband, Robert Harrison. 

Freda is survived by her three girls, Celeste Harrison Roth (Tom) of Royal Oak, Michigan; Cheryl Harrison Formby (Lourie) of Philadelphia, Mississippi; and Cynthia Harrison Saatkamp (Andrew) of Memphis, Tennessee. Forever “Gran,” Freda is also survived by her grandchildren Ashton Roth Brooks (Micah), Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kendall Nicole Roth, Chicago, Illinois; Marshall Harrison Peeples and Christopher Wallace Peeples, Pontotoc, Mississippi; and Lily Bronwyn Saatkamp and Robert Jackson Saatkamp, Memphis, Tennessee.

Services were held Nov. 11, 2023 at St. Matthews United Methodist Church. Memorials may be made to St. Matthews, 7427 Old Canton Rd, Madison, MS, 39110,, or the family asks that you consider planting a tree in Freda’s memory.

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