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James Joseph Harris,

96 years old, of Barberton, passed away peacefully on the evening of Friday, May 3, 2019, in the presence of family and friends.

He was born on Christmas Day in 1922 in Columbus, Georgia and moved to Akron as a child. After retirement, he moved to Monroe Country where he worked on his farm raising beef cattle in Beallsville. He returned to Akron and then moved to Barberton where he resided the remainder of his life.

Jim is survived by Della Emma Harris, his wife of 23 years. He is also survived by his daughters, Ellen Susan (Jeffrey) Huth, of Medina, and Sally Melinda Ackerman, of Daytona Beach; grandchildren, David (Beth) Staley, of Akron, Sarah Amarasinghe, of Daytona Beach, and Kelly Huth, of Akron; and great-grandchildren, Esther, Annamay, Doniven, Jaxon, Tiffany, Brian and Jordan. Jim also leaves behind stepdaughter, Debbie (Clay) Canfield; and step-grandchildren, Brian (Jess) Canfield, Beth (Joe) Heindel; step-great-grandchildren, Frankie and Callie; and best friend, Bob Bussy.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Theresia Beavers Harris; brother, Oscar and sister, Ruby Longan.

Jim led a full and active life and was a hard worker. During World War II, Jim joined the Navy and faithfully served his country in the Lighter-Than-Air division and also served in Guam. He worked and retired from Firestone after 20 years. Jim strongly believed in education. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa and graduated with a degree in Education from Kent State University before earning his Masters in Counseling from Ohio University. He was a teacher in Akron Public Schools at Lincoln Elementary and then was a guidance counselor at Thornton Junior High and Garfield High School before retiring in 1980.

Jim had a sharp mind and was a creative storyteller. He was a joy and loved to engage those around him with his wonderful sense of humor. He was a lifetime member of ORTA, Firestone VFW #3383, Firestone Park Prime Timers, the Ohio Country Western Music Association and was also a member of Barberton Moose Lodge #759, the Slovenian Center in Barberton, Barberton Active Adult Center, where he enjoyed the Thursday Euchre Group. He was an avid sports fan, and he absolutely loved to dance. He danced with his wife, Della, every chance he could get. Jim also loved to travel and had been all over the world on an amazing 45 foreign trips and cruises. He lived a full and blessed life. His loss is mourned, but his life and memory are celebrated.

Jim’s funeral service was held Thursday, May 9, 2019, at the Campfield-Hickman-Collier Funeral, 566 W. Park Ave., Barberton, with Chaplin Laura Kelly officiating. Burial was at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery with military honors. The family received friends Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Justin T. Rogers Hospice Center, 3383 Ridge-wood Road, Copley, OH 44321.