Charles was born at home in Pontiac, MI to Allan and Janet Harris on January 18, 1937. He went to Lake Orion High School and graduated in 1954. He earned a Bachelors degree from Oakland University in 1983 and went on to Central Michigan University to work on his Masters. He worked as a Quality Control Engineer at General Motors for 42 years. He was in the United States Army Reserves from 1954-1957 and the United States Marine Corps from 1957-1960. During his time in the Marines he earned the Good Conduct Medal and the Leatherneck Dress Blue Award.
Charles, also known as Charlie or Chuck, is survived by his wife of 24 years, Janet Melton Harris and his proudest accomplishments – his children and grandchildren – daughter Jeanette Burchard, her husband Don Nieto, of Mustang, OK, and her children Jamie and Brandon; his daughter Andrea Bergeron, her husband John, and their children Alex, Jordyn, Jade, Ty, and Zak, all of Flat Rock, MI; his daughter Shae Ramkumar, her husband D.J., and their daughters Maya and Peri, of Waxhaw, NC; his daughter Melanie Petschulat, and her daughter Ryan, of Boca Raton, FL; daughter Shelley Regan, and her husband John, of Oklahoma City, OK; and son Greg Harris of Florida. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren Hayley, Easton, Kylie, and Eli; his siblings Robert, Barbara, Betty, William, Roger, Sharon, Debra; plus many beloved nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, Allan and his mother, Janet.
Some of his favorite pastimes were boating, fishing, crosswords, and hunting with Jackie. He loved to make people laugh through his practical jokes and a crazy silly sense of humor.
It didn’t take much to make Charlie happy – a phone call from one of his children or grandchildren, a crossword puzzle and a cup of tea; taking grandkids to the zoo, fishing, or to see the latest Disney movie; listening to music, watching the birds at the feeder, or traveling across country to watch a grandchild perform or participate in hockey, gymnastics, basketball, soccer, or dance.
We were the most important people in the world to him. We knew that because he would rather spend time with us than travel anywhere else. Every vacation he planned with Janet was a “family vacation.” Together they traveled to Michigan, Florida, Alabama, Texas and beyond to share precious hours with children and grandchildren. Nothing else mattered when we were together. We knew that by the attention he gave us, the silly songs he sang, the pictures he drew for us, the hours invested in putting together jigsaw puzzles while asking us about school, friends, and everything in our lives.
What we inherited from him cannot be damaged, destroyed or lost. It is permanent, and it keeps him from becoming just a memory. From Charlie we inherited the knowledge that family is the most important treasure of all.
The family wishes to extend their deepest gratitude to Sooner Hospice, LLC and his nurse Carla. Carla was so wonderful, kind and caring to Charlie and we appreciated all that she did for us.
A memorial service to celebrate Charlie’s life will be held Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 2 p.m. at First Christian Church, 201 East 2nd Street, Edmond, OK 73034. For those unable to attend, you may watch the service online beginning at 2:00 p.m. CST at www.fccedmond.org/live.
A Celebration of Life gathering will be held this summer in Michigan for family and friends. If you would like to be notified about the Michigan gathering, please leave your e-mail or contact information as a reply in the guestbook.