A. Richard (Dick) Harris of Avon, 87, passed away peacefully on May 22, 2012. His loving survivors include his wife Joan, sons Steven, James and Peter, grandchildren Jennifer, Lauren, Katie, Maxwell, Evan and Lily, and 2 great grandchildren Hanna and Trevor. He was loved and admired by daughters-in- law Donna, Meghan and Martine as well as sons-in-law Mike Smith and Kevin LeGault. He was predeceased by his daughter Julie and brother Seymour.
He was born on June14th 1924 in Newport News, Va.. As 2nd Lieutenant on the U.S.S. Missouri, he was present for the Japanese surrender, a day he considered one of the proudest of his life. He received an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal, an American Campaign medal and a World War II Victory medal. After his discharge he attended and graduated from the University of Virginia.
He moved to Hartford and married Joan in 1949 where he started Harris Office Equipment, and later Richard Harris Interiors, both on Allyn Street in Hartford. He and his father Paul were responsible for liquidating the furniture assets of the original Hartford High School in 1963. He was a founding member of the Hartford Ballet and president of the West Hartford Art league. As Vice president and later President of the University Club of Hartford, he was an early advocate for the inclusion of its first women members. He was an active participant of Hartford Rotary, later a member in Avon, where he moved with his family in 1972. For decades he was passionately involved with the Greater Hartford YMCA, where he served on the Board of Trustees , acted as a dedicated fundraiser, and finally served as Treasurer.
A.R. was active as well in the communities of Quonochontaug, Rhode Island and Vero Beach, Florida, where he was an avid tomato grower, bridge, golf and tennis player. His enjoyment of art led him to become an accomplished water colorist; his family enjoys many many of his paintings.
A memorial service will be held at Temple Beth Israel cemetery in Avon on June 14th at 4pm, followed by calling hours at the family home.