Obituary of Stewart Edward Harris
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Stewart Edward Harris, also known as “Poots” and “Pooty,” of Harrisburg, was called home on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at the UPMC Community Osteopathic Hospital, Harrisburg, PA, and was surrounded by a host of loving family members. Stewart was born on January 8, 1930 in Harrisburg, PA to the late William Harris, Sr. and Katherine Stewart Rease, and was married to the late Betty M. Spriggs-Harris.
At the age of 22, Stewart was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as PVT 1st Class and fought in the Korean War from 1952 to 1954 in the K Company 28th Infantry Regiment. Stewart was honorably discharged, and before returning home, he was decorated with a Combat Infantryman Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, 2 Bronze Service Stars, United Nations Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.
Stewart was a hard-working man who acquired his trade in construction at the age of 16 and became a member of the Local Union 1180, Harrisburg, where he worked many years for major local companies such as: Murray Shield Construction, and G.R. Sponaugle & Sons, and retired from the union after 35 years of service. He was a very talented and gifted handyman that took pride in his work and loved to help others. Stewart cherished his mom and loved all his sisters and brothers. In his later years, he frequently traveled around town with his brother William “Hack” and would call him his “road-dog.” Stewart loved the Lord and was a member of the Deliverance Temple Holiness Church of God and always loved to hear his brother-in-law, Bishop Norman Spriggs, bring the word (as he would say). Stewart also had a very special bond with Eugene “Gene” Spriggs who was always there for Stewart and cut his hair for over 38 years without asking for anything in return.
He was a very proud and an old school manly-man that would never back down to anyone, and would throw up his hands in a heartbeat ready to box and always talked about knocking someone out, but he truly had such a big heart and was always willing to help others at the drop of dime. His home was always open for family, whether stopping by to grab a cup of coffee and talk, or if you needed a place to stay, he was there to help for as long as you needed. Stewart and his wife were also a huge part of the “family village” and helped to raise many nieces and nephews throughout the years.
Stewart had a love for cars and would look forward to buying a new car every two to three years and always had a 2nd car that he’d call his “work car. He never said “no” to anyone who needed a ride to the store or just “up the street.” Even at the age of 93, he loved having the independence to drive and go anywhere he wanted to go without having to depend on anyone. He also loved to bowl and was a member of one of the 1st African American Bowling Leagues formed at the bowling alley above Kaiser’s five and dime store near 3rd and Hamilton Streets in Harrisburg.
In his later years, Stewart (always wearing his blue baseball cap) and his longtime companion, Juanita, used to love taking rides to Save-A-Lot, the Dollar Tree and going shopping at the thrift store where the workers branded them as “Mom and Pops.”
He looked forward to going to McConnellsburg “up home” for homecoming every year to get together with family and would always make sure he visited with his Aunt Alice! Stewart enjoyed making other people happy and had a great sense of humor. He loved his entire family and had a special place in his heart for his children and grandchildren. He would do anything for them and would always put family and their needs before himself. Genuine unconditional love!
Stewart is preceded in death by his wife Betty M. Spriggs-Harris of 47 years; his parents, William Harris, Sr., and Katherine Stewart Rease, and 5 siblings: Betty Jackson, Harry Harris, Evelyn Black-Hill, William Harris, and Leonard Harris.
Stewart lived a long and wonderful life and was always surrounded by family and close friends. He is survived by his daughter, Denise M. Hamilton (Darrell) of York, PA; his sons Derrick Burke (Gina) of Harrisburg, PA; and James Burke (Joann) of Lebanon, PA; and longtime companion Juanita Burke of Harrisburg, PA. Stewart was also like a father to Tracy Burke, Robin Burke and Jeffery Burke, and a host of many other nieces, nephews, and cousins respected him and regarded him as a father-figure. Stewart also leaves to cherish his memory his grandchildren Derrick Jr., Tiffany, Quintin, Christopher, Tristen, Darrell Jr., Kaden and a host of other special grandchildren and great grandchildren.
We hope all the lives he has touched continue to carry on the legacy he’s built!
Giving God all Glory, Honor, and Praise!
Lovingly Submitted by The Family !
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