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May 19, 1946 ~ December 7, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Thomas James Harris, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, left this world on December 7, 2023, at the age of 77.
Tom was born on May 19, 1946, on his family’s gladiolus farm in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. The son of the late Fred and Mary (nee Wrobel) Harris, Tom was the youngest of eight. It was on his family farm that he developed his passion for gardening, and throughout his life Tom reveled in the joys of riding his tractor, cultivating beautiful flowers, bountiful vegetables, and fields of the “famous Harris sweet corn”.
Perhaps one of the most heartwarming aspects of Tom's life is his love story with his wife, Shirley Jean Harris (nee Vineski). Meeting in the fourth grade, their friendship blossomed over the years, and they began dating after high school. The two wed in August 1969 at St. Peter church in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Their love stood the test of time and spanned over 54 remarkable years.
In June 1970, the couple welcomed their only child, a son, Thomas Fredrick Harris. Tom enjoyed teaching his son to hunt and garden. Tom also enjoyed coaching his son’s early days on the baseball field and was his biggest, and sometimes loudest, fan as he went on to play in high school and college.
In addition to his green thumb, Tom enjoyed various hobbies, such as fishing, golfing, and gambling. He and Shirley enjoyed many trips to Las Vegas and casinos in Michigan and Canada. They spent many summer days on their boat fishing for perch and walleye on Lake St. Clair. During the 70s and 80s, Tom and Shirley could be found on the dance floor, dancing to the latest disco hits, and in the 90s and 00s they enjoyed country line dancing and clogging.
Tom is survived by his two grandchildren, Lauren and Andrew, whom he loved. Spending weekends together as Lauren and Andrew grew up, attending numerous sporting events and cheering them on, and playing video games from Wii to X-Box, Tom truly treasured time with his grandkids.
Tom also served his country with honor and courage. A proud Army veteran, he fearlessly fought in the Vietnam War, displaying bravery in the face of adversity. His service to his country exemplified his unwavering commitment and selfless sacrifice.
A quiet and gentle man, Tom left an indelible mark on the lives of his many nieces, nephews and family friends. He was known for his generosity - sharing his vegetables and carved or painted pumpkins, and for his calm demeanor on the golf course or playing backyard games of washers and cornhole. Tom will be dearly missed by all those fortunate enough to have known him.
Loved husband to Shirley; cherished father to Thomas (Kristin); beloved brother to Theodore (late Sis), Geraldine (John) Nofs, and Barbara (Jack) Morris; proud grandfather to Lauren and Andrew; loved Uncle to many nieces and nephews.
Tom is joined in Heaven by his loving parents, Fred and Mary, sister Veronica Scofield, brother Kenneth Harris, half-sisters Irene Stratychuk and Helene Bacyinski.
A memorial service is planned for Wednesday, December 13, at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home in Macomb, Michigan from 1-5 pm with a prayer service starting at 4 pm.