Local Obits

Obituary of Edward J. Harris


Edward J. Harris, 101, of Harford, NY went home to be with the Lord on April 22, 2023. He was born in Groton, NY on April 19, 1922. He is predeceased by his parents, Edward B. Harris, and Dorothy Twinning Harris; his sister, Mary Harris and his loving wife of 67 years, Jeanne Diamond Harris. He is survived by a close, loving family that includes his two children, Edward C. Harris (fiancé, Diane Lewis) of Panama City, Panama and daughter, Deborah J. Shelley (husband, Lloyd) of Dryden, NY; four grandchildren, Shannon Harris-Gannon, Kyla Harris, Edward Thomas Harris, and Sarah Shelley Gracey; two sisters in law, Kathleen (Diamond) Fabich and Sue (Diamond) O’Connor; three great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.


Edward graduated from Ithaca High School. He enlisted in the US Navy on July 22, 1942, as a machinist Second Class. He served in the Asiatic and Philippines campaigns, where he earned 5 stars total. He was honorably discharged on December 8, 1945. Edward was proud of his service to his country. In 1946 he married Jeanne Diamond, whom he always said was the love of his life. He worked as a machine shop instructor in Groton, NY, until 1956, when he went to work for International Business Machines (IBM) in Poughkeepsie, NY, as a Mechanical Engineer. He eventually transferred to the IBM plant in Owego, NY, where he designed three prototype machines that IBM patented. He and Jeanne raised their two children in Berkshire, NY, where Edward was a Boy Scout Leader. He and Jeanne were active members of Berkshire’s United Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday School and served on the church board. When IBM began its Robotics Program in Charlotte, NC, they invited Edward to help develop the program, so he and Jeanne spent two years in Charlotte before moving back to New York, this time relocating to Newark Valley. He retired from IBM in 1986. He then worked as a design Mechanical Engineer for Corning Glass Works for several years. He and Jeanne spent five years in Tempe, AZ, enjoying their son and his family until returning home, to Newark Valley, to be closer to their daughter and Jeanne’s family. In 2009 they retired to Creamery Hills Senior Living, in Harford, NY. Edward always felt that his greatest accomplishment was being a devoted husband and father. He was happiest when he was spending time with his family. He, Jeanne, their children, and extended family spent many hours on Cayuga Lake, where he grew up, and on Owasco Lake, where they owned a cottage for many years. Ed and Jeanne also enjoyed camping vacations with their family and friends. They enjoyed traveling, bowling, family card parties, and watching their favorite game shows and Lawrence Welk together, on TV. Edward loved trains, pancakes, and building things with his hands. He was a ‘gifted” hobby carpenter. He and Jeanne were long-standing members of Harmony United Methodist Church in Harford. Edward served as a lay speaker as needed. He loved studying prophecy; he described himself as a “Revelation” man. In honor of his 95th birthday, he preached a sermon on prophecy, which became a yearly tradition. He preached his last sermon in 2022, after turning 100. After Jeanne died in 2014, Edward continued to live alone, and even drive, until he was one hundred. Edward will always be remembered for his kindness towards others, his strong faith, humility, charitable giving, and willingness to lend a helping hand. Edward was a true gentleman. He will be greatly missed. The family would like to extend a warm thank you to all the staff members of Cedar Run and Misty Glen at Guthrie Cortland Nursing for their wonderful, compassionate care of Edward during his final months of life.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Perkins Funeral Home, in Dryden, NY on June 3rd, 2023. The family will receive friends from 12 until 1 pm, followed immediately by a memorial service. Interment will follow at Parker Street Cemetery, Lapeer, NY. A luncheon will be served afterwards at the Harford Town Hall, in Harford, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Edward’s memory to Harmony United Methodist Church, PO Box 71, Harford, NY 13874. Online condolences at www.perkinsfh.com

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