Frank Harrison will never forget the day his son, Kristopher Ray, was born in Mount Olive.

Kris cried and cried and cried, and continued to cry even after his parents got him home.

"I called Dr. (Hervy) Kornegay and said something's got to be done," Frank said. "I said 'I think he's hungry.' The doctor said 'feed him.' We got baby food and started feeding him when he was 2 weeks old -- and then no problems."

Neither will Frank ever forget the day his son died. It was Sept. 8 when the Duke Life Flight helicopter he was on as a nurse crashed, killing 44-year-old Kris and the three others on board.

And all the days in between Kris' birth and death will be what bring comfort and peace to Frank.

Frank was extremely proud of all his son had done throughout his short life.

"He was a caring person, for as long as I can remember," Frank said. "Kristopher was a fine young man in every way, an outstanding father and husband."

Frank and Kris bonded even more when Frank's wife -- Kris' mother, Vivian -- died when Kris was just 15.

"Kris was very dependable and anything I needed done, he was right there to help," Frank said. "In high school, he worked at Burger King and got up many a morning at 4:30 a.m. to fix biscuits there, that's how dependable he was."

Kris was a teenager, having just graduated from high school, when his dad and Barbara Lancaster married.

"This was his home, and I moved into it," Barbara said. "Never once has he ever made me feel anything but welcome into his home. There was never any 'you're not my mama attitude.' My daughter, Amy, and son, Chris Williams, just became his family."

Kris was a typical boy, playing all kinds of sports and dreaming the typical dreams of a young boy -- becoming a fireman or a professional baseball player.

He was very athletic, playing all kinds of sports and doing all kinds of outdoor things.

"He could ski, but didn't go much," his father said. "Barbara's son, our son, came up from Florida once, and they decided they'd go to Boone skiing for the weekend. Both went to the top of the mountain to come down. But something happened and Chris Willie (Barbara's son's nickname) got on his skis and somehow fell."

"They had to haul him off the mountain," Barbara said. "And Kris Harry (Frank's son's nickname) just took off and left him."

"We laughed about that a lot of times," Frank said. "Kris just took off and left him."

Kris attended Carver Elementary, Mount Olive Middle and Southern Wayne High schools.

He took a couple of classes at Wayne Community College as he was trying to figure out just what he wanted to do. Then he got his associates of science degree at Mount Olive College. From there, Kris transferred to North Carolina State University, and graduated with a degree in zoology. While at college, he became involved with Cary Rescue.

Kris finally decided he wanted to be a nurse and got his nursing degree at Wake Tech.

It was in nursing school that Kris met his future wife, Kasey.

"He came home and said, 'Pops,' -- that's what he called me -- 'I met the girl of my dreams,'" Frank said. "She had a boyfriend at the time, but Kris said he'd take care of that."

The couple married in June 1999 and are the parents of two girls, Abigayle Faith, 16, and Lilly Grace, 13.

"He was an excellent Daddy," Barbara said. "He finally had somebody to play with. Before he got married, I had a couple of younger nieces, who would come here, and Kris would put on the Freddy Kruger mask and chase them around the house. That's when he was a college man.

"And we were down in our trailer at White Lake one day and Kris and my 3-year-old niece just played and played and played. We went back to the trailer to have supper and he's sitting there in his swim trunks and no shirt, and my niece climbs up in his lap, leans up against him, pats him on the chest and said, 'You're my bestest buddy.'"

Although Kris loved to play, he could be serious when he needed to be.

And lots of those times were with the Duke Life Flight Team, based out of the Smithfield airport.

"His co-workers and friends said he was so focused on what he needed to do and he didn't get rattled at all," Barbara said. "It was a gift for him, I think."

His father said critical care was Kris' passion.

"He was a highly skilled nurse trained in trauma," Frank said. "The babies and children they transported, Kris had a real passion for them."

Frank and Barbara will never know just how many lives their son saved as a nurse on the Duke Life Flight Team.

"That was his way of serving God and humanity," his father said. "Kris was a dedicated Christian person, who loved his work. He made the world a better place in which to live. He touched the lives of so many people."

"It's bad when you lose a good one out of the world," Barbara said.

Kris' best friend since childhood is Dr. Mark Sasser. Mark remembers Kris as kind, funny, a great father who was involved heavily with his children and a good husband, who loved his wife.

"There's not a place I can go around Mount Olive that I don't think of him," Mark said. "I think about him just about daily because we did so many things together when we were younger. If you had met him, hands down you would have liked him right off the bat.

"He did a lot of good. We lost a good person when that chopper went down."

Frank and Barbara knew that Kris was well thought of, but didn't know just how much until the funeral home went to Greenville to pick up his body and take it to the Smithfield airport.

The couple didn't go to Greenville, but waited in Smithfield instead. Then they found out that some of Kris' co-workers took a couple of ambulances and escorted his body to Smithfield. There were rescue vehicles, a University of North Carolina hospital truck and fire trucks in the motorcade.

"Then the sheriff's department said they wanted to take part, too," Barbara said. "It just got so big, everybody wanted to participate in the motorcade from Greenville to Smithfield."

"It was sad, but we were very proud," Frank said. "It was a very nice tribute."

Frank couldn't hold back the tears as he talked about wanting people to remember that his son, Kris, was an outstanding nurse.

"It would be hard to shake him from our memory," Barbara said. "He's right in the midst of us all the time. We are so proud of him and all that he accomplished."

Barbara said Kris never left their house without a hug, kiss and an "I love you" from her and Frank. And they never ended a phone conversation with him without telling him how much they loved him.

But they had no idea when they told him they loved him over the phone two days before Kris died that it would be their last good-bye.

An education trust has been established for Kris' girls in lieu of flowers. Contributions may be sent to the Kristopher Education Fund, Southern Bank and Trust Co., 100 N.E. Center St., Mount Olive, N.C., 28365.