Erwin Joseph Harris
GLADSTONE – Erwin Harris (more affectionately known as EJ), 93, passed away peacefully and quietly at the home of his daughter July 29, surrounded by love. He was born May 6, 1920 in Garth, Mich., of George and Emma (Girard) Harris and graduated from Rapid River High School in 1938.
EJ then spent six months in the CCC at Camp Mormon Creek. Being energetic and wanting to improve himself, EJ took a correspondence course in diesel engines and received his certification from Hemphill Engineering School, Chicago.
He married the love of his life, Myra Marie Prebo, on Dec. 29, 1941, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Saginaw, Mich. This was the 25th anniversary of Myra’s parents. In 1944, he was inducted into the U.S. Navy. Together they celebrated 71 years of marriage.
He moved his family to the Upper Peninsula in 1948, where he owned and operated Harris Service Garage and Case Farm and Surge Milkers Dealership in Trenary. After closing his business, EJ became District Manager for Field Enterprises Educational Corp (World Book Encyclopedias) until he was medically retired in 1967.
In 1980, the call to move to Largo, Fla., became very strong. He served in many officer capacities for the Lakeview of Largo Condo Association for several years. After spending 23 years in Florida, EJ and Myra returned to Escanaba, in 2003.
Some of his many interests were fishing, hunting, and gardening. He made his own fishing lures and was a dyed in the wool fly fisherman. With six children, he had to hunt and fish to feed his family. EJ was an avid sports fan for all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Survivors are six children, one daughter, Kathy (Joe) Illig of Gladstone; Son, Tom (Bev) Harris of Trinity, Florida, William Harris of Viet Nam, Tim (Linda Sprengeler) Harris of McHenry, Ill., Herb (Gail) Harris of Franklin, Wis, George Harris of Baltimore, Md; and special daughter-in-law, Mary Harris; 10 grandchildren, Kelly Jones, Brian Harris, Guy Harris, Danielle Hall, Tom Ulatowski, Jennifer Harris, Jonathan Harris, Hillary Wucherer, Angela Doyel and Thuy Hang; 20 great-grandchildren, Jessica Nystrom, Rachael and Fisher Jones, Kylie, Kevin, and Greg Harris, Mackenzie, Hannah and Noah Harris, Emma and Ethan Hall, Mally, Max, and Mason Ulatowski, Liam Love, Margo Harris, Ben and Jackson Herbert Wucherer, Ngan and Boa Huynh: brother, William (Jan) Harris of Milwaukee and sister, Mary Harper of Paw Paw, Ill.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, James, George, and Donald Harris; great-grandson, Matthew Ulatowski; and son-in-law, Chuck Busnuk.
Visitation is scheduled for Friday Aug. 23, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Military rites conducted by the Gladstone American Legion Post No. 301 will follow at 2 p.m. Reflections by family and friends will follow at 2:15 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 3 p.m. at the All Saints Church in Gladstone with Rev. Fr. Jamie Ziminski officiating. Luncheon will follow in the All Saints Church Parish Hall. Please visit www.skradskifuneralhomes.com where you can express your sympathy to the Harris family.