Edward LeMoine Harris, 97, of Ontonagon, passed away, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. Edward was born Aug. 8, 1920 in Green, to William J. and Julia A. (LeMoine) Harris.
He graduated from Ontonagon High School and attended college at Ferris State University, Big Rapids.
Ed served our country in the 5th recognizance of the Army Air Corps and served in Burma during World War II.
On May 5, 1948, in Grand Rapids, he married the former Rose Marie Leonardo, his first love, and was adopted into the ethnic side of Italian life. As part of the Sunday ritual, he would read the comics to his in-laws, translating English to Italian; they especially enjoyed Flash Gordon. Ed enjoyed the family structure of Italian culture, particularly the wonderful food.
Ed and Rose eventually moved to Cadillac, where he was employed as a purchaser at a grocery store when their son, William Anthony Harris, was born. They moved to back to Grand Rapids, where he took a position as an auditor for Fisher Body. In Grand Rapids, their daughter, Cynthia Jane (Harris) White, was born followed by another son, Thomas Edward Harris, a few years later.
The family moved to Marion, Indiana, with his employment with Fisher Body. The family was active in St. Paul's Catholic Church. Ed was active in Junior Achievement, working with high school students through the automotive industry.
Upon retirement in 1984 Ed and Rose moved to Traverse City to be where his grandkids were, as Rosie said it. They were surrounded by an exceptional group of neighbors that not only became part of their families, but they became part of ours. Thank you to Ted and Maurice Mattis, Francis West, Denney and Kathy Tilley, Steve and Diane Klix, Roy and Carol Parker. So many times they cared for Ed and Rosie as one of their own. The Mattis' always went over the call to assist with Ed in the last several years.
Ed and Rose were the original founders group of Christ the King Parish in Acme. Ed participated in the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus and served in many capacities in the church.
Ed was preceded in death by his siblings all during 2017, Ed's brother, Jack Harris, was 99; and his sister, Rosalie "Peg" Younk, was 90. He was also preceded in death by his father, mother and his wife, Rose.
Following the passing of his wife, Rose, Ed entered the Peace Corps at the age of 76 and served the country of Jamaica for three years which then led him to establishing a commitment to the parishes and schools there. Through many fundraisers at Christ the King parish and with a team of volunteers, the work still carries on in Jamaica.
Ed is survived by all his children, William A. Harris and his wife, Lyn Ann (Swetnicki) Harris, Cynthia Jane White and Thomas E. Harris and his wife, Nancy J. (Donlin) Harris; and many grandchildren, including Hannah C. Harris, Seth M. Harris with his wife Renee L. (Shanowski) Harris, Chelsea L. Rogers and Leslie A. (Rogers) Hughes and her husband, Dr. Andrew J. Hughes; and three great-grandchildren, KeAnna Harris, Keegan Harris and Katrianna Barnwell.
A celebration of life service, time yet to be determined, will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church, 3801 Shore Road, Williamsburg. There will be a one hour visitation prior to a celebration Mass. A luncheon will follow in the Fellowship Hall. Interment of Ed's remains will reside next to his bride and wife, Rosie, at Woodlawn Cemetery in Grand Rapids, where this love story began.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Covell Funeral Home.
Published on December 10, 2017