Harrison Pendleton Bresee

- June 10, 2024

Harrison Pendleton Bresee, Jr. died on June 10, 2024 at the age of 93. Pen passed peacefully at Greenfield, surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren.

Pen was born on May 9th, 1931 in New Rochelle, NY to Harrison Pendleton Bresee and Caroline Robinson Bresee. He grew up in Orange, VA, attended Woodberry Forest School and matriculated to The University of the South. After 2 years serving in the Army during the Korean War, he then returned to earn a degree in forestry at Sewanee.

In the years following college, Pen famously traveled for several years, riding a motorbike through all of Western Europe, hitchhiking from Capetown to Cairo, then India, Nepal, Kashmir, Ceylon, Cambodia, and Thailand.

At the age of 30, Pen joined the first group of Peace Corps volunteers. He served as a provincial forest officer in Nigeria where he met his bride-to-be, Suzanne Wilkinson, another Peace Corps volunteer. They were soon married in Seaford, DE, and Pen advanced his studies at Syracuse University, earning a Master’s Degree in tropical forestry. Liberia was the next stop for the family when Pen accepted a position at Firestone’s rubber plantation.

In subsequent years Pen taught science at Blue Ridge School and others, sold real estate with Suzie, volunteered for the Orange Rescue Squad and taught sailing through the Boys and Girls Club. An avid gardener and hunter, Pen’s organic vegetables and wild game meats made Greenfield farm-to-table, way before it was a trend. Pen lived his long life pursuing new experiences and sharing what he learned and loved. He was a unique soul, part old Virginia, part African outdoorsman, and very much a part of the wide natural world he so cherished.

Pen is survived by his wife of 60 years, Suzanne, children Bridget B. Bryant (Arthur), and Harrison P. Bresee III (Rebecca), his grandchildren Arthur H. Bryant III (Terra), James P. Bryant (Iolanda), William W. Bryant (Maddie), Claire R. Bresee and Cameron M. Bresee, and great-grandchild, Alexander J. Bryant. He will be missed by numerous nieces and nephews and his great friend and caregiver Elana Gentry.

There will be a celebration of life at Greenfield on June 24, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please remember Pen by making a contribution to the Orange County Volunteer Rescue Squad or the Boys and Girls Club of Orange.