Charles M. "Charlie" Harris, 94, passed away Sept. 13, at Goshen Hospital.
He was born July 21, 1923, in Goshen, to Clarence J. and June (Beck) Harris.
Charlie graduated from Jefferson High School in 1942. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in World War II as a gunner on merchant marine ships.
After the war, Charlie enrolled in the Indiana College of Mortuary School and was licensed as a funeral director in 1950. In 1952, Charlie purchased the Carr Funeral Home in Syracuse. In 1961 he purchased the Troxel Funeral Home in North Webster. Charlie built the new Harris Funeral Home in 1976 on Ind. 13 between the two towns, combining the two businesses into a new facility to serve Syracuse and North Webster, as well as surrounding communities. With partner Joe Blocker, he also served the Goshen area beginning in 1963 with his purchase of the Blocker-Harris Fifth Street Chapel. A more than 60 year member Syracuse-Wawasee Rotary Club, Charlie remained active until his passing. He was a Paul Harris Fellow and had recently received the Charlie Harris Lifetime Achievement Award, which is named in his honor.
He was a member of the IFDA, having recently been made a Lifetime Isaac Ball Fellow. He was recognized as the oldest practicing, licensed funeral director in the State of Indiana.
Charlie's life was a life of service and he lived the Rotary 4-Way Test, this he exemplified not only in his profession but through the numerous organizations of which he was a member: Calvary United Methodist Church, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Airstream Club, Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite Shrine as well as serving on the Syracuse Cemetery and Museum boards.
Charlie is survived by his life partner, Donna Workman; son, Michael (Becky) Harris; daughter, Ginger (Jeff) Shriver; six grandchildren, Heather Ann (Nate) Everingham, Christopher Michael Harris, Abigail Lynn (Matt) Slone, Andrew Jeffrey (Erin) Shriver, Charles Kegan Shriver and Kirsten Shriver; and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his niece, Johanna Miller-King.
He was preceded by his wife, Anna Harris; son, Bret Alan Harris; sister, Jayne Miller; nephew, Jim Miller; and niece, Brenda Sue Miller.
Calling will be Sunday, Sept. 17, from 3 to 8 p.m. at Eastlund Funeral Home, Syracuse.
Services will take place Monday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m. at the funeral home with calling two hours prior to the service, from noon to 2 p.m. Pastor Brad Cox will officiate.
Burial with military honors will follow at Syracuse Cemetery.
A gathering of family and friends will follow at Calvary United Methodist Church for fellowship and refreshments.
The family kindly requests memorial contributions in Charlie's name be made to the Syracuse Museum or to Calvary United Methodist Church.
Published on September 15, 2017