George F. Harris

Dec. 15, 1926 Ė Feb. 27, 2010

George F. Harris, age 83, a Manitowoc resident, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010, at Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers.

George was born Dec. 15, 1926, in East Pike Run, Pa., to the late Frederick and Olive Grimes Harris. Following his high school graduation, George enlisted with the U.S. Navy in 1944. He served on a destroyer escort and traveled all around the world. On Aug. 15, 1944, George married Shirley Nelson in Milwaukee. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he went on to college at the California University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, he taught high school math and science in Maryland.

Once deciding that teaching was not for him, he moved to Wisconsin and worked at National Tea, GE X-ray, and Wisconsin Centrifugal. In 1985, George had serious health issues, and took an early retirement. He had worked for Wisconsin Centrifugal for 24 years, but was extremely proud to have been awarded a gold watch for 25 years of service! Following his retirement, George and Shirley moved back to Pennsylvania. After Shirley died, George found comfort in getting involved in the community of California, Pa. George and his brother were instrumental in establishing the California Historical Society. He also enjoyed volunteering at The Center of the Woods teaching seniors computer skills while often accompanied by his faithful therapy dog, Flash. Through his technical and culinary interests, George met Karen online and they married on Jan. 2, 1999 in what George described as "the worst snowfall of the century." He enjoyed spending his time doing photography, recipe collecting, traveling the world over, working on computers, and helping others (with a smile). Above all, he cherished the time he was able to spend with his family.

He is survived by his wife of 11 years: Karen nee Schroder Balthazor, Manitowoc; two sons: John (Janet) Harris, of Sunnyvale, Calif.; and James (Maria) Harris, Sherwood; three daughters: Diana Benson, Milwaukee; Cheryl (Mike) Anderson, Waukesha; and Melodie (John Hardie) Harris, Manitowoc; seven grandchildren: Joel (Jen) Harris, Ben Harris, Sherri (Ryan) Linn, Matthew Benson, Maxwell Anderson, Tegan Anderson, and Freddy Harris; a greatgrandson: Julien Harris; Karenís children: Julie Medinger, Sarah (Matt) Ward, Scott (Stacey) Balthazor, and Jeff Balthazor; nine grandchildren: Daniel Balthazor, Kaylee Klein, Justice Klein, Veronikka Medinger, Meeshelle Medinger, Xzavier Medinger, Jovy Medinger, Cody Ward, and Dylan Ward; three brothers: Edgar (Shirley) Harris, Jerry (Vicki) Harris, and Ralph (Terry) Harris; a sister-in-law: Sally Harris; his diva dog, Princess; also nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

The family will greet relatives and friends from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday, March 4 at the Harrigan Parkside Funeral Home, N. 11th and St. Clair streets, Manitowoc. for a celebration of Georgeís life.

Georgeís family would like to extend their sincere thanks to Dr. Al Diaz, and also to the staff and nurses of Aurora Medical Centerís third floor and intensive care unit for the compassionate care they provided to both George and his family.