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John F. Harris Jr.

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John F. Harris Jr. Obituary
John F. Harris, Jr.

AGE: 91 • Hockessin, DE

A resident of Cokesbury Village, passed away on June 22, 2016 after a long illness.

Born in Stroudsburg, PA, he was the son of John F. and Georgia Belle Harris. In 1943, the US Navy sent him to the University of Pennsylvania to study engineering, where he met Jacqueline, his future wife for over 66 years. After the war, he returned to complete his BA, MS and PhD. in Chemistry and then went to work for over 30 years in the Central Research Dept. at DuPont in nearby Delaware.

While at DuPont he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to do post-doctorate work at the University of Cologne, Germany, living there for a year with his wife and three children. Retiring in 1985, he went regularly to the Penn Museum, becoming an expert at deciphering Maya hieroglyphs and a consulting scholar. His Museum-published book on glyph decipherment is now used by universities nationwide. For his 80th birthday he was awarded a large stele modeled after one at Piedras Negras, Mexico. The Maya inscription translated said "To John Harris, 5 katun lord, great wise one and good man."

John is survived by his wife, Jackie; his children, Mark (Karen), John (Jane) and Katherine; four grandchildren; and two greatgrandchildren.

A memorial service will be 11:00 am, Saturday, August 13, 2016 at Cokesbury Village, 726 Loveville Road, Hockessin, DE 19707. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Helen Graham Cancer Center, 4701 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, DE 19713 or Bread Upon the Waters Scholarship Fund at the University of Pennsylvania, 16 College Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6377.


Published in The News Journal from July 3 to Aug. 12, 2016
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