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Westport Road Church of Christ
4500 Westport Rd
Louisville, KY 40207
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Ann Louise Stiglitz "Weez" Harris


1920 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Ann Louise Stiglitz "Weez" Harris Obituary
Harris, Ann Louise "Weez" Stiglitz,

died on July 13, 2017, in Chicago, at the age of 97.

Ann was born in 1920 in Louisville, where she spent most of her life. She was the youngest child of a couple who brought together two venerable Louisville businesses, the Stiglitz Foundry in Portland and the Perkins Dairy in Butchertown.

Ann graduated from Atherton High School in 1937 and Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College, Richmond, in 1940, with Distinction. She was named "Campus Sweetheart" (although she modestly maintained this was because she was dating the editor of the yearbook at the time). Here, she met her husband-to-be, Claude Harris, of Nashville.

During the years of World War II, Ann returned to Louisville to teach at the George D. Prentice School and the Okolona School while spending summers studying in Nashville for a master's degree in education at Peabody College, which she completed in 1945.

After Pearl Harbor in 1941, Claude entered the Army at Fort Knox, graduated from Officer Candidates School at Camp Lee in Virginia, and was sent on to Harvard Business School. The couple married on October 9, 1942. Ann accompanied Claude to Boston, where she heard Winston Churchill speak in Harvard Yard. Claude went overseas for two and a half years to participate in the Normandy Invasion, the Battle of the Bulge, and the transition after the Armistice.

Everyone in the family was involved in the war. Ann's brother Bill captained a ship for the U.S. Navy chasing submarines in the Pacific. Her brother F.M. fought in Europe and met up with Claude in 1945. Her sister's husband, Hamilton Gadd, fought in the Africa and Italy campaigns. Ann's cousin Frank Perkins was shot down over Burma; in memory of his death, Frank's father bought a cabin at Lake Wawasee in Indiana, where the Harris family would spend many summer vacations. When Ann studied in Nashville during the war, she stayed with Claude's sister, Helen Buchi, whose husband, Harold, also managed to meet up with Claude in Europe.

After the war, the couple had three children: Claudia Harris of Chapel Hill, NC, who preceded Ann in death in 2013, Gail Harris-Schmidt of Chicago (spouse, Steve Schmidt), and Tim Harris of New York City (spouse, Tara Key).

Over the next decades, Ann was active in a wide variety of organizations and activities. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School at the Westport Road Church of Christ and worked with the Spring Mill Bible Camp. She was a troop and camp leader for the Girl Scouts. She was active in the Richlawn Garden Club and the PTA. She helped Claude in his roles as president of the Chamber of Commerce and the Jaycees, and as the Louisville representative for Congressman William O. Cowger.

Ann participated in a wide range of charities and nurtured her children's work with local charity institutions such as the Market Street Neighborhood House, Wesley House, and the Cabbage Patch. In the 1990s, while tutoring a young lady for her GED at the Talbot Learning Center at 8th and Kentucky, Ann expressed her displeasure when the student quit in deference to her husband's getting his own GED, as she was always a strong advocate for the education of women.

Ann was an avid reader and pushed all of her children in their academic endeavors. When Claudia taught school in rural Kentucky, Ann read Jonathan Kozol's "Death at an Early Age." She picked up her kids' concern about civil rights by reading John Howard Griffin's "Black Like Me."

Throughout her life Ann was an enthusiastic music fan, coaching her three children through music lessons, singing regularly at church, and attending concerts by the Louisville Orchestra, as well as both the Waggener High School Orchestra and the Louisville Youth Orchestra, in which her daughters played. She also enjoyed listening to her husband play the violin and the accordion, and their trips to see jazz in Chicago and elsewhere. Staying in shape was important to Ann, and she relished tennis, golf, and jogging. She was an accomplished cook, enjoyed working in the yard, and sewed many of her daughters' clothes.

At the age of 67, in 1967, after taking courses, submitting appraisals, and passing an exam, Ann became one of the first women in the state of Kentucky to be certified as a member of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers.

Ann's passing will leave a large void for her family. She represented the best of all Louisville has to offer. She is also survived by friend Kathy Schenley of Chapel Hill and four grandchildren: Alexis Harris of Chapel Hill, Jessica Harris of New York, David Schmidt of Chicago, and Michael Schmidt of Chicago (spouse, Kristin Schmidt).

A memorial service will be held at the Westport Road Church of Christ, Louisville, on Saturday, October 28.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Misericordia Home, Chicago (Misericordia.com), the National Fragile X Foundation (fragileX.org), or the Westport Road Church of Christ.
Published in The Courier-Journal on July 30, 2017
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