Phil J. Harris, Sr.

April 6, 1927 - April 8, 2018

U.S. Veteran

Service Date: April 21, 2018

A Memorial Service will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the United Presbyterian Church, at the United Presbyterian Church, 375 Vanhouten Street, Paterson, NJ, followed by a graveside service at Laurel Grove Cemetery, in Totowa, NJ.


Phil J. Harris Sr., 91, devoted father and grandfather, died peacefully and surrounded by family, two days after his birthday, on April 8, 2018.

Phil was born on April 6, 1927 in Springfield, Ohio the son of Joshua P. and Anna M. (Strome) Harris.

He was born and raised on the family farm. He grew up with many brothers and sisters; they all witnessed and experienced first-hand the great depression. This instilled a work ethic that remained with Phil his entire lifetime.

He served honorably with the United States Army during World War II and then transferred into the Army National Guard. Upon his return home, He met and married Mary Flake on July 2, 1960, and they were blessed with 6 children. He was a deacon at the Church of Messiah in Paterson, NJ.  Phil worked as a cook for many years at the NJ Firemen’s Home.  Phil’s love of the outdoors and gardening was a way to relax. When the kids were younger, he and Mary would take the kids to the Jersey Shore and trips to Ohio to visit family.

For the past 20 plus years, he and his beloved wife Mary had made their home in No. Waterboro with their daughter, Marie and her family. He still was a consummate cook in the kitchen and enjoyed reminiscing about the “Good Ole Days.” Phil was quiet and shy, yet once he got to know you, he could be quite entertaining. He was very content to be home with his family and having the grandchildren around.

Phil has now been reunited with his wife, Mary, his daughter Barbara and his twin baby boys, Paul and John.

Phil is survived by his sons, Phil J. Harris Jr. of Pennsylvania, Thomas Harris and wife Sue of New Jersey, and daughter Marie Diaz and husband Michael of No. Waterboro; nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; and by two sisters, Mary Jane Stecher and Anna Mae Crosby; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Phil was predeceased by his several of his siblings, Woodrow W. Harris, Carl W. Harris, Bessie F. Early Shenberger, Francis E. Harris, Mildred M. Harris, Elmer and Harry Crumley.

A Memorial Service will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the United Presbyterian Church, 375 Vanhouten Street, Paterson, NJ, followed by a graveside service at Laurel Grove Cemetery in Totowa, NJ.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, New England Division, Inc., One Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, ME 04096.

The Autumn Green Funeral Home is respectfully handling arrangements.

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