Janet "Jan" Harris, nee Weith, 75, passed away Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016.
Jan was born Janet Weith on May 18, 1941, the oldest child of parents, Melvin and Florence Weith of East St. Louis, Ill. Her father owned and operated Southern Illinois Plate Glass Company while her mother tended the family home. Jan's family eventually included a sister, Gay Lee and husband Ronald Euchner, and two brothers, Mel Weith and wife Jerrie and Gary Weith and wife Nancy.
As a young woman, Jan was an outstanding student and athlete, especially as a diver, at Belleville Township High School. Upon graduating, Jan pursued higher education in Liberal Arts at the University of Illinois, where she met senior, Ed Harris in a music class. They fell in love and were married on Feb. 13, 1960.
At length, the Harris family included three children, daughter, Terri, and sons, Scot and Dan. As a wife and mother, Jan found her true calling and loved her role as the heart of her home. Her most treasured days occurred with the births of her three children and later, her five grandchildren. A gentle soul, Jan was sweet natured even while she remained a formidable, competitive athlete throughout her life. In later years, she fell in love with bowling and eventually golf, where she made a hole in one before her husband, Ed could do the same (although he was a lifelong golfer). Together, they enjoyed many days with family and friends at Pebble Creek Country Club, where Jan was a one-woman welcoming committee, striking in her favorite red dress. Almost instinctively, Jan could fall into conversation with anyone in the room and become fast friends with them, thanks to her listening ear and winning smile. She was a natural leader, observant and acutely aware of each individual she met, who did her best to find and develop the good in others. Those who knew her well never heard Jan utter a swear word, consume alcohol or even grow angry enough to shout at someone. As the rock of her family, Jan retained her loving character and positive attitude even after a stroke in 2005 kept her wheelchair bound.
Remembering Jan and surviving her now is her devoted husband of 56 years, Ed Harris, and their children, Terri (David) Palmer, Scot (Grace) Harris and Dan (Jean) Harris. Jan's five grandchildren also remember her fondly including, Chasen Palmer, Aaron Harris, Logan Harris, Tia Harris and Hanna; and extended family and network of loving friends.
Jan had an unforgettable smile and an unfailingly kind heart.
"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."
To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Jan Harris please visit our sympathy store. Share your fond memories with Jan's family at www.hillierfuneralhome.com.
Visitation: Jan Harris' life celebration will begin with visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. with a sharing of memories at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept, 2, 2016, at Hillier Funeral Home in College Station, Texas.
Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, at the funeral home chapel.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Sept. 2, 2016