Robert Estes Harrison


Long time Taos resident Robert E. Harrison, aged 96, died on Friday, September 22, 2017 after a short illness. Better known to family and friends as Bob, he was born in Chicago, Illinois to Robert and Lois Harrison on November 1, 1920. After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1943, he served in the United States Army Intelligence Division during World War II, and was stationed in India, his unit monitoring the Japanese forces in China. Bob met his wife Jean Pattison at a Presbyterian Church camp in Lake Geneva, WI, and they married in 1950, first living in Chicago, IL and then in Omaha, NE before moving to Taos, NM in 1961 with their three children. Bob always joked they were the first “hippies” in Taos, when they moved themselves in a “big red truck” to their home on Millicent Rogers Road. Bob moved to Taos to pursue his love of art. He owned and displayed his paintings and other works of art at two galleries under his trade name, Trebor de Taos. A fourth child was born in 1965, and around that time he built a gallery and restaurant in the Taos Ski Valley that he operated during the late 60’s. Jean taught at the high school, was the chef at the restaurant, and supported his zest for life. In 1974, Bob bought a trimaran sailboat in Puerto Rico, never having sailed a boat of this size before, embarked on a cruise of the Caribbean with Jean, son Robert, and youngest daughter Stephanie. After selling the boat and a stay in Miami taking care of his elderly mother Lois, he and Jean moved back to Taos and opened their popular Bed and Breakfast that they operated for ten years, endearing themselves to guests from around the world. They seldom met a guest they didn’t like and always served the best breakfasts. Along with running the bed and breakfast, he also wrote a book and continued his artistic work. After closing the B&B, they continued to travel and discovered the comfort of cruising and traveled to China and other exotic locations, and enjoyed visiting with family and friends in Taos. Bob was a progressive liberal, never content with the status quo and believed that the world could be better. That is an understatement. He lived his life believing he could make it better. Jean died in October 2008 and Bob’s life narrowed and he no longer traveled, preferring visits from family and friends at his home. In the last years of his life he was cared for at home by his grandson Kahil VanderWorken. He is survived by one sister, Franne Dickinson, children Robert Harrison, Victoria Thomas, Deborah Terry, Stephanie Harrison, their spouses, 7 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held in the near future and the family will send out a notification to family and friends of the time and place.