Oliver ‘C.O.’ Harris
Cecil Oliver “C.O.” Harris passed away at age 95 on August 25, 2016, at LindenGrove Health Care in Waukesha. He was born February 22, 1921, in Crandon, to Roy and Leone (Roberts) Harris. He married Virginia (Jean) Doughty in March of 1940. She preceded him in death October 3, 1986. He married Gloria Halla January 30, 1989.
He joined the CCCs in 1937, attended Camp Estabrook in Milwaukee and Camp Madison in Madison in 1938. In 1940 he joined the Army and was stationed in Fort Brady, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Camp Grant, Ill., and Fort Custer, Mich. From October 1942 to 1945, he was stationed in the South Pacific and spent time in New Caledonia, Efate, New Hebrides (where he was promoted from sergeant to 1st sergeant) Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, Tinian and the Mariannas Islands.
In 1945, he was discharged and returned to the U.S. In 1946. He went to Carroll College in Waukesha for two years while also working as a news photographer for the Waukesha Freeman. In 1947, he became a youth counselor at the Industrial School for Boys in Waukesha. He became a terminal manager in 1955 for Royal Transit in Waukesha. In 1960, he was hired as a youth counselor at Wisconsin School for Boys in Wales. While working there, he was also a freelance writer/ photographer for the Waukesha Freeman newspaper.
In 1970 he was transferred from Wales to the Lincoln School for Boys (now Lincoln Hills) in Irma as a shift supervisor, where he also continued his freelance work and was published in 22 state and national publications (including National Wildlife, Funk & Wagnall, Yankee Magazine, Ridge Press Inc., Harcourt, Brace & World, Hunting Dog Magazine, Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine, Wisconsin Agriculturist, Wisconsin Sportsman, Hook & Shell, Milwaukee Journal and Sentinel newspapers, Minnesota Sportsman, Waukesha Freeman newspaper, Foto News in Merrill and many more).
Throughout his life, his hobbies included photography, hunting, fishing and trapping, and falconry hunting. When hunting with falcons was legalized in the state of Wisconsin, Cecil was issued license #4. He also liked wood carving wildlife and building birdhouses. In 1984, he retired from the Wisconsin Division of Corrections. He moved back to Waukesha in 1987 and worked for the YWCA until 1992, and then worked for the Waukesha Humane Society until 1994. He loved having his family and friends visit him.
He is survived by his wife, Gloria, and family: his sons, Michael (Sharon) Harris of Merrill and Rick Harris of Mineral Point; and his sister, Betty Sayles of Coupeville, Wash. He also leaves behind his eight grandchildren, Monique (James) Lloyd, Colette (Mike) Wilde, TJ Harris, Noelle (Pete) Juaregui, Robin Harris, Michael (Angie) Harris, Kelly Harris, and Kerry (Nina) Harris. Additionally he leaves behind 10 great-grandchildren, Lisa, Shannah, Amanda, Elena, Mya, Ahna, Pete Jr, Ian, Sergio and Roman; and one great-great-grandchild, Leo Cecil, on the way.
Visitation will be at Taylor- Stine Funeral Home, 903 E. Third St., Merrill, on Monday, August 29, from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM. After cremation, there will be private family graveside services with military rites as he is interred in the Harris family plot at Graceland Cemetery in Clintonville.
The Harris Family suggests that memorials be directed to the Waukesha County Humane Society.
& Stine Funeral Home, 715-536-6244, is serving the family. Online
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