NAUGATUCK — Mr. Earle Richard Harris, 85, of Naugatuck, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 at Waterbury Hospital. He was the husband of Norma Jean (Adams) Harris.
Mr. Harris was born in Ballston Spa, N.Y. on Sept. 24, 1927 a son of the late Rodney and Winifred (Jackson) Harris. He was resident of Naugatuck for 58 years and was retired from the Uniroyal Inc. Footwear Division in Naugatuck where he had worked as a foreman for many years. He was also a former employee of the Uniroyal Inc. Synthetic Division, worked as a foreman at the former Brown Lumber Company in Naugatuck, was an employee of the former Naugatuck Dairy Ice Cream Company with Augustine Barbiero, was a chief of security for Gleason Security, a security chief at Heritage Village in Southbury and also worked as a greeter at Walmart, as a driver for NAPA Auto Parts. His hobbies included woodworking, the morning cross word puzzles, hunting and fishing and being a great father and grandfather.
Mr. Harris was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps having served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He flew aboard B-17 and B-29 aircraft as a Turret Gunner, Side Gunner and Bombardier and attained the rank of chief master sergeant. Mr. Harris was the recipient of Three Purple Hearts, the Distinguished Flying Cross, one silver star, one Bronze Star, the Service Air Medal. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1946 in Naugatuck, the Military Order of the Purple Heart Life Member, the Air Force Association and the 11th Bombardier Group Association Life Member.
Mr. Harris will be remembered for his vise-grip handshake, his witty humor and the softest heart that a man could have.
Besides his wife, Mr. Harris is survived by three sons, Timothy John Harris and his wife Marcia of Waterbury, Douglas James Harris and his wife Mary of Naugatuck, and Gregory Vincent Harris and his wife Robyn of Naugatuck; a daughter, Catherine Ann Harris of Naugatuck; seven grandchildren, Timothy J. Harris, Jr., Robert Lee Harris, Michele Ann (Harris) Litke, Michael Lee Harris, Brian Chauncey Stockton, Dustyn Jessica, Kyle Douglas J., and Rikki Rhiannon Harris; five great-grandchildren, Lauren Litke, Lindsay Litke, Jossalynn Harris, Danessa Harris, and Mackenzee Harris, and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by a son, Richard Paul Harris; two brothers, John Harris and Donald Harris and a sister, Elnora Loya.
Graveside funeral services and burial with full military honors will be held on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at 1 p.m. at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, 200 Duell Road Schuylerville, N.Y. 12871. There are no calling hours. The Buckmiller Brothers Funeral Home 82 Fairview Ave. Naugatuck is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 75817, Topeka, KS 66675.
For more information and online condolences, visit www.buckmillerbrothers.com.