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Arthur Harris Jr.

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ARLINGTON -- Arthur Stanley Harris Jr., born on Oct. 6, 1920 (a twin) the son of Arthur Stanley and Edith Harris, Sr. in suburban Boston -- Winchester, Mass. -- died peacefully Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.

Arthur was a graduate of Harvard College (as was his father and grandfather), class of 1943. Awarded S.B. degree, also received an A.M. degree from Boston University.

He spent his post-college days in teaching at a Massachusetts private secondary school and also on the faculty of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga., and at the University of New Hampshire. He spent a summer at U. Cal, Berkeley.

Drafted by Selective Service while a senior at Harvard, he served with the AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) in forestry work in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He was released from service and prepared to teach, mostly English and literature.

He married Phyllis Gavitt in Arlington, which remained their weekend and vacation home while both worked in Schenectady, N.Y.

He was employed by GE and WRGB in Schenectady, and wrote several travel publications for a wide variety of newspapers. Mrs. Gavitt Harris was a grade school art teacher, holding a degree from Massachusetts College of Art. As a freelance journalist, Arthur wrote so much about his beloved State of Vermont that he was designated an official ambassador of the state of Vermont.

His Vermont articles are on permanent archival record in a file at the Martha Canfield Public Library in Arlington.

Arthur is survived by his life partner of 47 years, Phyllis Gavitt of Schenectady, N.Y; his sons, George Harris and Kevin Gavitt; daughters-in-law Brenda Warner Harris and Sandra Gavitt; five grandchildren, Caitlin and Alison Harris, Mike Warner and Rebecca and Jessica Gavitt and many loved friends. He was preceded in death by his son Clifford Gavitt; his twin sister Miriam Harris and his grandchild Rachael Sarah Gavitt.

Calling hours for Mr. Harris will be held Thursday evening, Jan. 10, 2008, at Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home Arlington Chapel, Route 7A in Arlington from 5 to 8 p.m. when the family will be in attendance.

At the request of the family, there are no funeral services. If friends desire, memorial gifts in Arthur’s memory may be made to the Lions Club of Arlington, c/o Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home Arlington Chapel, P.O. Box 528, Arlington, VT 05250. For directions or to send the family personal e-mail condolences please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.

The family has entrusted arrangements to the care of Hanson-Walbridge.
Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 8, 2008
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