William Carl Harris, 102, died Saturday, September 7, 2019 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua. He was born on June 25, 1917 in Chelsea, MA, son/ of the late William F and Matilda (Sjoberg) Harris.
He was the widower of Frances (Keene) Harris. They were married on February 16, 1946.
William was a 1935 graduate of Hopkinton High School, a class of 14 students. He lived on a farm in Contoocook and was the oldest of eight children. He worked with the CCC in that area during severe storm/flooding that occurred in the 1930’s. In early 1941 he joined the army and became a 1st Sargent in the 759th Field Artillery Battalion, went on to Europe for 10 months, completing his active duty in 1945. Following his service he came home and got married, moved from Cambridge to Woburn, and then to Chelmsford, MA in 1951.
He worked as a carpenter for a heavy construction company in Boston on bridge building and harbor projects, piers, and dock repairs until 1979. During these years he became active in the Grange, joined the Audubon Society and the Tyngsboro Bird Society, and wrote birding stories for The Chelmsford News Weekly. He was also an avid rockhound and photographer and, with his wife May, they made jewelry with their many mineral finds, and still found time to go fishing! They moved to Nashua in 1984, continued all of the above, and finally 100% mastered the fine art of storytelling and repeating jokes!
His 100th Birthday was celebrated with a great number of relatives from all over the country and a surprise guest, Senator Dan Feltes, as well as a local TV Station were present as he was given several treasured award accomodations, at Elm Brook Park where his life began years ago, now part of the huge Flood Control Project in place there.
Dad, referred to as a little guy, like a leprechaun, always offering some kind of input and help to someone. A kind, polite listener, and as always, for decades now, a strong, positive influence on many, many folks.
He is survived by his brother, Richard in Florida, as well as his son William, his wife Patty, and their two daughters, Carla and Fiona. The Family Tree is akin to a giant sequoia, with so many great-greats so far back, from Sweden and other countries, with many many cousins, nieces, nephews, etc…
SERVICES: A graveside service with Military Honors will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019, 2:00pm, at New Hopkinton Cemetery in Hopkinton. Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a memorial contribution to are asked to consider a donation to the Alzheimer's Association, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472 (www.alz.org).
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