Gwendolyn Harris

Gwendolyn Harris

Gwendolyn Harris, known to her family as Nana the Great, died peacefully on May 12, 2015 at Hillside Village, her home for the past five years.

Born on August 4, 1914, she was the good news on an otherwise bleak day in world history. Her family had deep roots in Manitoba. Her grandfather was Chief Factor for the Hudson’s Bay Company at Lower Fort Garry and her family was held prisoner for three months and marched through the Manitoba wilderness during the Riel Uprising.

In 1932 she moved with her parents to Vernon, where she caught the fancy of Frank Harris, whom she married in 1940. Harris, as publisher of the Vernon News from the 1940’s until the paper was sold to the Thompson chain in 1970, relied on her unfailing support, not just in business, but in furthering the growth and development of Vernon and in raising their two children. Their home was constantly open to their many friends and to the community they both loved. She was a consummate hostess.

Gwen was predeceased by her son, John Rogan Harris, in 1967, her husband in 1997, and her sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Alleyn Harris, and her nephew Ron. She is survived by her daughter, Lynne, and husband Ian Wickett, her granddaughters Claire, husband Eric Hyndman and her great grandchildren Molly, Nolan and Ellie; Darcy, husband Brad Calkins and her great grandchildren Sam, Max, Katy and Ian; and Allison, husband Matt Karns and her great grandchildren Rogan and Lily, and her nephew, Bill Harris, his wife Fran and their family.

On June 6, Gwen and Frank will join their son John in the family plot in the Vernon Cemetery, to be followed by a tea in Gwen’s honour at her family’s home in Salmon Arm.

We are so grateful to the Hillside staff for the love and care they provided to Gwen throughout her stay with them, for the thoughtful care provided by her medical community, and, of course, to Martha Wickett for her ongoing support and love.

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