Elizabeth Louise McCain Harris (Betty)

Elizabeth Louise McCain Harris (Betty)

Elizabeth Louise McCain (Betty)Harris

Betty Harris' long and amazing life among us began October 3, 1913, and ended August 10, 2007. She was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., married Wilfred Charles Harris in Milwaukee, Wisc., lived in River Falls, Wisc. her last 56 years where she was a dedicated member of the United Methodist Church. She raised three children, earned a master's degree in art at the University of Minnesota and was an art teacher for many years in the Prescott, Wisc., schools. She died at her daughter's home in Medford, Ore.. Betty's considerable creative talents included weaving, painting, drawing, ceramics, and calligraphy. Education was one of her passions.

By word, deed, and indomitable spirit, Betty became a wellspring of kindness, support, solace, insight, and courage to her extended family, community and a vast network of friends. She always sought to find and nurture the best in the people she encountered. She urged us as people, as a family, a community, and nation to work for peace and justice. She was sustained throughout by an abiding faith. That faith made it possible to not only navigate the untimely death of her husband in 1969, but to emerge as a beacon of hope and good will, plus curiosity and involvement in the world which inspired all who knew her.

Betty Harris lived a life of modesty and discretion. Her failings were few. She was quick to love and forgive, but very slow to judge others or proclaim her own virtues. She readily made herself available to countless people seeking her counsel and calming support, but never presumed to intrude on others or complain about her own troubles. Though her physical presence has ended, Betty continues surrounding the lives of those who knew her with grace and joy.

Betty enjoyed a daughter, Merry Harris, and friend Beth Russell of Medford, Ore., a son, Bruce Harris, of River Falls, Wisc., and son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Sissa Harris, of Clearlake, Calif.. Her extended family included 10 grandchildren. To help 18 youngsters distinguish her from other great-grandparents, Betty proudly wore the title of "Grandma The Great." She met the youngest of these on her final day. The 19th great-grandchild was born August 18, 2007.

Celebratory memorial services will be held at the Medford, Ore., United Methodist Church on August 26, 2007, at 2:30 p.m., and at the River Falls, Wisc., United Methodist Church on September 30, 2007, at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Betty's honor to the Elizabeth L. and Wilfred C. Harris Family Memorial Fund at the River Falls United Methodist Church, 127 South Second Street, River Falls, WI., 54022.

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