Edward “Jed” Harris
Saturday, November 10, 1928
Date of Death:
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
90 years old
Edward “Jed” Harris
Edward Ridgway Harris, 90, of Rochester, Minnesota died peacefully Tuesday, May, 14th at Mayo Clinic Charter House in Rochester, from complications of Multiple Myeloma.
Jed, as he was known by friends and family, was born on November 10th, 1928 in Rochester, New York where he was also raised. He spent many of his childhood summers at Canandaigua Lake, in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. After graduating from Millbrook School in 1948, he enrolled at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and later tried his vocation as a monastic novice at the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1951, he enlisted in the Navy as a radar controller on carrier-based airplanes during the Korean War. After his service in the Navy he returned to college, enrolling at Columbia University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in 1956.
He then moved to Cuba where he lived and worked for a company growing kenaf - a plant he joked “looked like marijuana but was far less profitable”. In 1959, Castro assumed power in Cuba and conditions there worsened. Two years later Jed fled Cuba, attempting to move the farming operations to both Haiti and Guatemala. By 1962, he had returned to the United States to live in Savannah, Georgia and begin his career at IBM as a systems engineer.
In 1964, Jed married Emily Van Voorhis, also of Rochester, NY, who over the next several years gave birth to their four children, Gina, Tal, Stephen and Jonathan. In 1969, Jed and Emily moved their young family to Rochester, Minnesota where they raised their children and Jed continued his career at IBM as a computer programmer in research and development. Jed and Emily enjoyed music, theater, travel, and hosting their friends and family at their home. The celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary last March, and are very thankful for their six grandchildren.
Shortly after moving to Rochester, Jed and Emily joined Calvary Episcopal Church where they have been active ever since. Jed became an advocate for the revival of the diaconate in the Diocese of Minnesota and on January 17th 1977 Jed was ordained an Episcopal deacon. Both Jed and Emily were active in the Episcopal Cursillo spiritual renewal movement.
In 1987, Jed retired from IBM and went on to volunteer as a hospice and prison chaplain. He was also active as an actor at the Rochester Repertory Theater. Jed was well read and had ongoing lifelong interests in ethics, psychology, arts, biology, religion, and technology. He chose to donate his brain to Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s research. He had an eye for beauty in nature and had much affection for the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. He loved three-dimensional puzzles and amused many with his quick wit. The family wishes to thank the 4th floor Supportive Living Center of Charter House for their love and care of Jed during his last years.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s research or Calvary Episcopal Church.
A funeral service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, May 19, 2019 at Calvary Episcopal Church, Rochester, MN, with The Rev. Beth Royalty officiating.
The family of Edward “Jed” Harris has received the following condolences.
We have very fond memories of Uncle Jed and wish the family our condolences.
Sending our love from California.
Anne and Henry
"Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in heaven, where the love of our lost one pours through and shines down upon us, to let us know their souls are at peace." Eskimo legend. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you, as you begin this new chapter and season of life without Jed. Blessings and Healing, Sue Bentley
I just stopped in to visit my foster mom and learned of Jed's passing.
I am in my 40's, but I was a teenager/young adult, when my foster mom introduced me to Jed. I can't count the number of cups of hor chocolate and coffee that I had with Jed.
He was my unofficial big brother. I was mad at my foster mom when she said talk to him...talk to me...or we need to find a new home for you. However, the two of them saved me. In many ways.
He will forever have my respect, admiration and love.
Oh, my foster mom was Alice Moore Applequist. She gave me a great gift in "making" me go and talk to him. My parenting as a dad is a combination of what I had with him and what Alice modeled day in and out. Both of them brought me to the Episcopal Church.
I send hugs and condolences to his family.
I met Jed, when he was a hospice chaplain. He was a great gift in that ministry.
I celebrate the many lives he touched and hearts that he eased in his ministry as both deacon and chaplain
My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
I knew Jed and Emily through Cursillo and his serving at St. Matthew's.
I always looked forward to having coffee with him and chatting. He was an easy fellow to talk to about anything.
Rest in peace, Jed. Sympathy to his family.
Jed and Emily.were great Cursillo friends and prayer partners with me, after Cursillo gatherings. When I attended Calvary for awhile, Jed abd Emily would always make sure that I never sat alone. I loved doung book discussions with him He had such wit and humor. My deepest condolences to the family. Welcome to your 5th Day, Jed!
As a deacon, Jed led some serbices at St. Matthew's, when Rev. Scott was unavailable. I was the organist. Jed was always so nice ro me.I t was a shock to us both, that he was just a year and some months younger than I. He always seemed so young! Jed was an excellent preacher and had a wonderful welcoming smile. I know there are many who will miss him. My sympathy to the family.
I have many wonderful memories of Jed, but three are especially near and dear to my heart. The first is made up all the wonderful shared times my sister and I had working several Cursillos with Jed and Emily. Emily and my sister, Cindy became great friends and Jed and I became wonderful friends and prayer partners. The second was when I was called to be a Lay Eucharist Minister, it was Jed who was called upon by our priest, Rev. Ben Scott, to do the instruction. The third involves my being up at the Boundary Waters with some college friend get together. I was arriving and Jed was leaving. Jed was very polite speaking to each of us as we passed. When I passed, he greeted me and then stopped and paused and said, "Alice is that you. Why, I never thought you camped or canoed. I mean, you must, right?" It was so fun to catch himiff guard! He was a blessing in my life. My condolences to the family.
To Emily and family
We extend our condolences to you all for your loss of Jed. May you all find peace and comfort with the memory of Jed. He was a very kind and generous man and respected by all who knew him.
A memorial gift was sent to the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Research in Jed's name
Frank and Sandy Soltis
Gloria and I send our prayers and condolences. We will miss being able to join you on Sunday due to a conflict with the River Valley Community Band Concert in which I play clarinet. Peace.
Bob and Gloria Gunkle
I am so sorry to hear about Jed's passing. He was almost like family to me. I remember spending many holidays as a child with him and his family. God bless him, and Emily, and the whole family in their time of grief. Since I am now Catholic, I will remember him in my daily rosary.
My wife Dottie & I join many in mourning the passing of Jed Harris. He was one of the most memorable men we've ever known in friendship; and we felt privileged to have experienced--via circles of faith & family--significant parts of his & wife Emily's Rochester years. Jed was a great churchman (more specifically, of course, of the Episcopal Church, of which he harbored encyclopedic knowledge). We also celebrate him for his outsize, world-wise personality, for his deep intellect, his expansive appetites for things not experienced by most, his spontaneous generosity, his oft-cutting-but-always-insightful sense of humor, and for his pride as a patriarch of always interesting families; those both rooted in genetics and more expansively via networks of great friendship. He & Dear Emily embraced us Hawthornes (esp. our son & their godson Simon) as if we were of honorary Harris lineage, and for that we'll be forever grateful. The Harris's as a long-married couple personified an abiding, loving loyalty towards each other & the world that is increasingly rare. Peace & Grace to you all during this time.