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Jean Sawyer Harris


1921 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Jean Sawyer Harris Obituary
Jean Sawyer Harris

Scottsdale, AZ - Jean Harris passed away on Sunday, February 18th at the age of 96.

Born in April, 1921, a fourth-generation New Yorker, Jean graduated from Barnard College with a BA in history and English at the age of 20. Her first career was entertainment critic for Charm Magazine. At the outbreak of World War II, she was asked to write a story about an officers' training class for a newly-formed U.S. Navy group called the Waves. While researching her assignment, she decided to join that class and became a communications officer as a Navy Wave, leaving her journalism career behind. She served two years in the Navy, became a Lieutenant JG, and married Navy flight Lieutenant Evert Harris. Under the GI Bill, Jean received an MA in English from Columbia University. When the war was over, she moved with her husband and four children to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she received her teaching credentials at the University of Cincinnati. She taught high school for over thirty years, beginning at Moscow High School and soon after, at Anderson High School in the Forest Hills School District, teaching English and Humanities. She coached the "It's Academic" team, sponsored the literary magazine and served as English Department Chair. She was also an active member of The Cincinnati Music Theater both on stage and off. Upon her retirement, she became an adjunct teacher at the University of Cincinnati for another ten years. After her second retirement, Jean stayed active as a volunteer at City Hall, worked on Mrs. Taft's Anti-Drug Campaign, and was a charter member of Delta Kappa Gamma teachers' organization. Her interest in theater continued as she became a volunteer at Cincinnati Music Hall and for the Playhouse in the Park. Her love of history and art led her to become a docent at both the Taft Museum and the Cincinnati Art Museum. She also became an avid world traveler. Her final years were lived in Arizona near her daughter.

Though active in theater and teaching, Jean was most proud to have raised a family of five children, was grandmother to nine children and great-grandmother to eleven. She is survived by her dear brother, George Sawyer and his family, her children, George Scott, John, Kathy, Evert, and Robert, their spouses and families. Jean's powerful and loving spirit will be sorely missed by her family, her many friends, and the thousands of students whose lives she touched and inspired.

Funeral services will be performed at Arlington Cemetery at a date to be determined. Donations can be sent to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
Published in the Kentucky Enquirer on Mar. 4, 2018
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