NORTHAMPTON — Edward Sawyer Harris passed away peacefully May 3, 2018 with his wife, Faye, and his three children by his side.
Edward was born in Orange, MA. July 2, 1928, the youngest son of Carl C. and Marion F. Harris. He graduated from Orange High School in 1946, served in the US Army Signal Corps during the Korean War, and received a degree in Business Administration from Babson College in 1950.
He began his career at Rodney Hunt Company as part of the Harris family who had managed the company for three generations starting in 1879. Joining his father Carl C., and his older brother Earl F., Ed held various positions during the company’s earlier years of manufacturing of Water Turbines, Industrial Rolls, Textile Processing Equipment, Chemical Processing Equipment and Water Control Equipment. He later served as Vice President and Treasurer, Safety Officer and Director. He was a member of the Financial Executives International and the National Association of Corporate Treasurers.
Ed was active in community and business organizations serving as Director of the former Orange National Bank and was on the Board of other Franklin County Banks. He worked on the Planning Board of Orange and the Franklin County and Orange/Athol YMCAs and helped organize and manage The Sixth World Sport Parachuting Championship in 1962.
Edward married Faye C. Harris in 1983 and they moved to Northampton in 1986. He retired from Rodney Hunt in 1988 and continued as consultant and Board Member there until 1995. After his retirement he undertook a volunteer assignment to Poland from the International Executive Service Corps, consulting on best business practices.
Throughout his career and retirement he was involved in the collection, selection and transfer of the historical records of Rodney Hunt Company, now at the Archives Department at the Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.
Ed had a great passion for sailing spending many summers on the waters of New England. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge and love of the sea with his family and many friends. He spent many enthusiastic summers on the waters of North Shore, Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound, and also had the opportunity to sail the waters of St. Croix, and US Virgin Islands with family and friends. He spent a year with Faye sailing the inland water way to the Caribbean and back. From canals in France to the choppy waters of New England, Ed navigated with ease and assurance. He loved early morning walks on the beach and sunsets over the water. Along with sailing, Ed also shared his love of winter, skiing in the mountains of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.
He was known to his stepfamily as Captain Ed, endeared by two generations. From births to graduations and marriages, the Captain offered his encouraging words of wisdom and support.
His friends and family will remember him as a gentleman and loyal friend who loved to laugh and share stories. His gentle nature will be remembered by all that knew him. His family will remember him as a supportive loving force in their lives. His interest and compassion for each of them will be greatly missed.
In addition to his wife of 35 years, Faye C. Harris, he leaves three children from his first marriage: Brooks E. Harris and Grant B. Harris, both of Woods Hole, MA, and Nina M. Harris of Carlsbad, CA.; nephews Channing C. Harris of Wilton, CT and Andy Harris of Franklin, MA and nieces Anne R. Harris of McLean, VA and Alex Harris of Bellevue, WA. His first wife, Janis E. Harris, from Orange, died in Carlsbad CA in 2014.
A Life Celebration will be held Saturday, July 28, 2018, 11am, at the Central Congregational Church, 93 South Main St, Orange MA, with a service at South Cemetery. Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange MA, is assisting the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Orange Scholarship Foundation Box 298 Orange, MA 01364.