Amanda Lynn Harrison-RobinsonFayetteville, AR, 1962 - 2022
Amanda Lynn Harrison-Robinson, 59, of Fayetteville passed away Saturday, October 1, 2022 at Willard Walker Hospice House. She was born November 18, 1962 in Memphis, Tenn., the eldest child of Dr. William F. Harrison and Betty Waggoner Harrison.
A gifted soprano, Amanda garnered acclaim as early as high school, where she won multiple regional and state awards. At the University of Arkansas, under the tutelage of Dr. Jack Groh, she was lead soprano of the nationally renowned Schola Cantorum with which she traveled around the world in performance.
Amanda received her Bachelors of Music at the University of Arkansas, graduated with honors and Magna Cum Laude. Her gifts were such that she was accepted at the Mannes College of Music, studying with world renowned coaches Antonia Lavonne and Nico Castell of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She performed lead after lead, including Liu in Turandot with the UMKC Philharmonic. She ultimately received her Doctorate in Vocal Music Performance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory – during which time she met and fell in love with her future husband, Daniel Robinson.
Her love for education and youth advocacy soon eclipsed her focus on music. Turning her formidable intellect and passion to education, she taught at both the high school and college level. In the Gravette school systems, choir enrollment surged under her leadership. Soon she was asked to assume the role of Youth Director at St. Paul's EYC in Fayetteville, where the program flourished under her care, and became the largest Episcopal EYC in the state, garnering national recognition for her work.
The key to her success was not administrative, but personal attention paid to each and every person that walked through her door. Amanda recognized and acknowledged that there is no other time in a person's life that is more complicated than when they're a teenager, so she made herself available to every child. Her dictum was simple: feed their spirits, feed their bodies.
The healing power of food and the joyful preparation of it, in fact, was a huge part of her personal ministry. Over the course of her 15 years with St. Paul's, she prepared over 800 meals for the youth group and the community, demonstrating in action that meals prepared with gratitude and joy is one of life's greatest blessings and builders of Community. After leaving her post at St. Paul's, she embarked on the creation of "The Harvest Moon Pie Company" with her "adopted sons", her beloved nephew Ben and friend Patrick Ragan. Quickly becoming a "best of Fayetteville" pie destination, Amanda continued to feed the hungry, whether they had money to pay for her pies or not.
Nothing pleased her as much as the success of her loved ones. She was everyone's most favorite audience, as she gave herself over completely to applause, praise, and of course, her infectious, powerful laugh. As author Stephen Chboksy said of her, "that laugh turned every room she was in into Carnegie Hall."
She fed those around her on all levels, but being in nature fed her. She got her strength from silence near the oceans and in the woods. Her last planned project, never realized, was to create a meditation program which would focus on healing the earth.
However, as much as she loved and was loved by others, the number one joy and priority in her life was her family. Dan, Isabelle and Lillian were the embers that made her heart burn so brightly with determination and joy.
Amanda was preceded in death by her grandparents, Burette and Irene Waggoner, Benjamin and Mattie Harrison and her father Dr. William F. Harrison. She is survived by husband Daniel Robinson; her daughters Isabelle and Lillian Robinson of the Home; her nephew Benjamin Harrison; her mother Betty Harrison; her brother Benjamin Harrison and wife Carrie; her sister Rebecca Harrison; many beloved aunts and cousins, as well as a legion of old friends and young people whose lives were forever changed by her love and guidance.
A celebration of Amanda's life will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville on Friday, October 14th at 3 p.m. Arrangements by Epting Funeral Home of Fayetteville.
Published October 8, 2022
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Epting Funeral Home
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