Mr. Richard L. Harris, age 95, formerly of Pittsfield, died Saturday morning at the Craneville Place of Dalton, following a brief illness. He was born in West Palm Beach, FL on August 20, 1923, the son of the late Emerald J. and Mary Alice van Gundy Harris. Educated in the local schools there, he was a graduate of Palm Beach High School, Class of 1941. Drafted to play professional Baseball, he began his outfield career with the West Palm Beach Indians in Class D. The Cleveland Indians, the major league franchise, purchased his contract and sent him to their Wassau, Wis. affiliate.
Mr. Harris enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and upon his discharge in 1946, returned to play professional baseball.
Initially playing in the TriState League in Spartanburg, SC, he later played with the former Pittsfield Electrics. Returning home to live in West Palm Beach, he was appointed as a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service there.
In 1956, Dick transferred to the Pittsfield USPS Branch before becoming employed with the former General Electric Co. After experiencing several employment slowdowns at GE, he accepted a position with Schweitzer's Mill in Lee prior to taking a position at the former Beloit-Jones Corp. in Dalton. He retired from there in 1988.
Wanting to remain active during his retirement, he worked part time at the former Pete's Motor's and at the Pire's Variety on Wilson St.
A member of Pilgrim Memorial Church, he always enjoyed playing golf here in the Berkshires.
His wife, the former Bernice Laston, whom he married June 6, 1946, died Sept. 27, 1995.
He is survived by his daughter, Rosemary F. Flores of Alhambra, CA, his two grandsons, David and Daniel Flores and his friends and caregivers, Diane Duval of Cheshire, MA and Dennis P. Cloutier of VT. He is also survived by a niece and her husband, John and Mary Beth Adams of Alabama and a nephew James and Kay Harris of North Carolina and many other friends.
SERVICES: Calling hours at the DEVANNY-CONDRON FUNERAL HOME will be Friday, July 19th and will begin at Noon followed with Funeral Services at the funeral home at 1 PM conducted by Lay Minster Donna J. Swiers of the Pilgrim Memorial Church. Burial will be MONDAY, June 22nd at 9:30 AM at St. Joseph's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Berkshire County Chapter of the Jimmy Fund in care of the funeral home.
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