Frederick Carl "Fred" Harris
1949 - 2020
BORN
1949
DIED
2020
Frederick "Fred" Carl Harris passed away suddenly on March 25, 2020 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital due to complications from COVID-19. His wife, Judy, was by his side. Fred was also known fondly to many as "Rick." He was born on September 13, 1949 and grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts where he excelled in football, basketball, and especially baseball. He was scouted by the Red Sox in 1968, but was drafted to Vietnam in 1969 and proudly served his country for 2 years in the Army. He was predeceased by his parents, Viola and Frederick Harris. If you were lucky enough to know Fred, you knew what a warm, lively personality he had, on top of an exuberant laugh. His smile was truly magnetic and in turn, made you smile. If you saw Fred around town, you could expect to be greeted enthusiastically and always have an engaging conversation. He worked at the UMass Power Plant for many years, became the "Mail Guy" around campus, and drove the shuttle around, making many new friends along the way. Fred loved walking his dog, going to the VFW, Rafters Sports Bar, Fish Hook, Joe's Cafe, and making his daily lottery ticket runs. He was a lover of all Boston sports and UMass basketball. The loss of Fred for our family and community is immeasurable. He leaves behind his wife Judy of 49 years, his children Nicole and Eric, his 2 brothers, Joseph and Jeffrey and their spouses, as well as many cousins and friends. There will be no funeral services, but we will have a celebration of life when we are all able to gather again.
Published by Daily Hampshire Gazette on Mar. 31, 2020.
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81 Entries
You know those people in your life that your sure you're going to see again...??? Yeah. Even though we only saw each other once a year or so and maybe only yelled a greeting across a parking lot.. there was always a "heart smile" in it.. seeing Fred around made me happier. I miss you man and I think about you more than anyone will ever know.
Mike Townsend
Friend
March 25, 2021
Freddie, you were such a Wonderful friend!! We had SO Many Wonderful Times back in the day!!! Cave Hill Rd, Cranberry Pond. I always looked up to you as an older brother. May God bless your beautiful soul and bring comfort to your beloved❤❤
Mary Pervier Holloway
Friend
July 14, 2020
I am so very sorry to hear of Fred's passing. Judy, Eric and Nicole, you are in my prayers. Love to you all, "Miss Z"
April 21, 2020
I learned today of Fred's passing from my brother Bob. I am saddened to lose my class mate, particularly someone as charismatic and talented as Fred. I have always been in awe of Fred's athletic ability. From the first time I met Fred in Mrs. Johnson's fifth grade class right up through High School, Fred WAS the athlete! No one else came close! He was a joy to watch, so smooth, so explosive. Fred may be gone, but he will live on in our memories and what great memories they are.
April 19, 2020
Will miss you cousin Ricky and all the fun we had at the university. Stay well Judy and love to you and your children.
Sandra Watkins
April 14, 2020
Dear Judy & Family, I am so sorry to hear of Fred's passing. He always made a point to say hi and share a smile. Thinking of you all during this difficult time.
Leasa
April 13, 2020
Freddy loved life. Upon meeting him that was clear by the warm glint in his eyes. I was in many of his classes from elementary school into high school at ARHS. We were in the same Home Room' in Junior High. Freddy had quick feet and a quick mind and oh, that smile! A smile that let you know that he was truly generous and kind. Between innings, after I booted a grounder at second base in a rec baseball game, he sat down where I was sitting, tapped me on the knee, and told me don't worry, you ll get the next one'.
A memorable man. Sad news.
My heart felt condolences to his family
David Gage
April 9, 2020
I have known Fred and his family for many years. Fred was a guy that I always felt happy to see and talk to. We had a lot in common and laughed at the same dumb things. He would visit the skydiving community at the airport often and everyone there valued him as a friend. Going to miss you.
Dave
Friend
April 8, 2020
The biggest smile! Eyes wide and bright always happy to see you! I met Fred 30 years ago working at UMass. He is a legend. Never to be forgotten. A role model for all to live by. I am so sorry for your loss. Rest in Peace, my friend. Jo
Joanne Dolan
April 6, 2020
Im so sad after reading about Freds passing. I remember him and Judy fondly from the days when their children attended the middle school. Fred had a big personality and a warm smile. Years later when I would run into him in town, hed greet me with a how are you doing? and that same smile. My sincere condolences to Judy, Nicole and Eric.
Jo Mackenzie
April 6, 2020
So sorry to hear of Freddie's passing. Wonderful memories of the softball years. Our thoughts are with Judy, Eric and Nicole.
Rocky and Gail Maciorowski
April 6, 2020
I am so sad to hear of Fred's passing. I remember him as a warm, friendly person who would light up my time at UMass. To his wife Judy, who I worked with at the Campus Center, my heart goes out to you and your children Nicole and Eric. I wish you the very best and will be thinking of you.
Eric Nakajima
April 6, 2020
Fred was a wonderfully gregarious soul who had a good word and a friendly smile for everyone. I am an old Amherst boy and even though I am older than friend I remember watching his performances on the basketball court and the baseball field in high school. Sweet guy and superior athlete.
Stephen Rozenc
April 5, 2020
Fred, so many of us will remember your friendly demeanor and your warm smile. You were truly a bright spot on the UMass campus. Rest peacefully, good fellow.
MARY PELIS
April 5, 2020
I have just learned of Freddie's passing. I'm shock and saddened. Fred was one of the best type of person to ever live. He always had a smile and he and I would call each other cousin as we shared the same birthday. From way back in school, the bowling alley, to Umass, when he worked part time for me on weekends Fred was always a giant of a person. Not the richest person with $$$ but PRICELESS with the love he shared to all around him. He was a true GIANT of a man. God Bless you Fred and make sure the pitch is in there when you play for the lord. Miss You.
charlie Bray
April 4, 2020
Love you like a brother. Our condolences to the family.
David Goodhind
Friend
April 3, 2020
RIP Fred. You were a bright spot in many of my days at UMASS. I'm sure where you are now you are making everyone smile and laugh, just like you did on campus. You continue to be one of the great ones...
Deb Furioni
April 3, 2020
Fred was probably better known on the Umass campus than any of the Chancellors we've had. He was also such a well known townie.He was known and loved. My heart goes out to Joe, Jeff and all of the Harris family.

-Brian Konieczny
April 2, 2020
My deepest condolences on the loss of Fred. Back in the day, Fred and I used to chat about life and family during my patrol of the neighborhood. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met and he so loved his family. May you all be comforted by the wonderful memories of him. RIP, Fred.
Scott Savino
April 2, 2020
Freddy would love that this is my third try to post a message and I can't seem to pull it off! We met in little league and were lifelong friends. Most recently spoke with him in 2018 about our 50th reunion. A great athlete, teammate, friend and human being!
Artie Seaver
April 2, 2020
Dear Judy, Nicole & Eric -
Our hearts are broken at Fred's passing, and we are thinking of you and sending hugs and support your way.
Jen Donais
April 2, 2020
Gone too soon! We always looked forward to mail time in Holdsworth at Umass, because we new Freddy would breeze in with his infectious smile and smart remarks to make us laugh. I'm sure Freddy is continuing to spread happiness in the afterlife. Deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the Harris family.
Carolyn Safarik
April 2, 2020
To a fellow classmate at ARHS and a friend too. I will miss your coming to my home on Lincoln Ave to play with me. I will miss your smile, and friendship.You were quite the athlete too, showing your ability to play well.You'll be deeply missed by your family,me and so many other people.RIP Fred
Susan O'Hara
April 2, 2020
Fred,I remember seeing you in the hatch, coffeeshop, and walking in the halls of Campus Center and Student Union.I will miss your smile and friendly attitude.RIP Fred
Tim O'Hara
April 2, 2020
It's been over 50 years now. But I remember Fred vividly as a wonderful baseball player (whom I loved watching, but dreaded pitching to the few times I played against him in pick-up games) and even more so as a warm, fun, and thoughtful human being -- qualities not always readily expressed and apparent in teen-agers. My heart goes out to Fred and his family and friends.
Andrew Marx
April 2, 2020
I just learned of Fred's passing this morning and just finished reading all of the tributes to this wonderful man. my deep condolences to his family. I was honored to know him and UMass was a better place because of him. Bob Goodhue
Robert Goodhue
April 2, 2020
Fred will be sorely missed here on the farm. He visited almost daily to purchase cucumbers, hot peppers, tomatoes or just to share his smile and sense of humor. Fred was a welcome break during a busy season and it just won't be the same here without him. We will put some cukes on side for you, Fred.
Sandra Pipczynski,
Friend
April 2, 2020
His contagious smile and happiness touched everyone that crossed his path. such a wonderful man, my heart breaks for his family.
Kathy Griffin
April 1, 2020
Fred was someone who always lifted the spirits of those around him. We all considered him our friend and colleague at UMASS for many years. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
John Stacey
April 1, 2020
When I was a young faculty member, I had an office near the front door of Paige Lab and Fred would stop by and talk to me several times a week. When we moved to ISB, I missed seeing Fred and was shocked this AM to hear of his death. Fred was one of the most friendly and effective UMass employees and a genuinely nice man to boot. RIP Fred. You touched many lives and made many lives brighter and I hope your family takes solace in the love that your community had for you.
Barbara Osborne
April 1, 2020
Fred was a wonderful co-worker and Friend. So very sorry for your loss. I will miss his wonderful smile.
Stephen Pielock
April 1, 2020
This is really sad news. I'm so sorry for your loss Judy, Eric and Nicole. Fred and I worked together on the Orchard Hill Grounds Crew from 1972 til the end of that decade. We had a lot of fun working together with many great memories. In the 1980s and 1990s we worked together for Mail Services. It was always a pleasure to see how much the campus community loved Freddy. The numerous entries in this Guest Book are a wonderful testament to the special man that he was.

Blessings,

Richard Clarity, Buckland, Massachusetts
April 1, 2020
Freddie was a wonderful person and a special friend and teammate. No smile ever reached you more warmly and completely than Fred's, and you left each visit with him enriched from his kindness and humor. Our warmest thoughts to Judy, Nicole and Eric and all the other members of your family. A bright light has been extinguished for all of us, but we all have are own special memories to keep close.
Les and Gail Kopinto
Gail Kopinto
April 1, 2020
I know him when I worked at Physical Plant from 1980 to 1986 in UMass Amherst. He is nice guy and he always smiling. My condolences to his wife and his sons.
Barbara Estes
April 1, 2020
RIP Freddy
April 1, 2020
Friend, baseball and softball teammate. A personality larger than life. Shocked and saddened by the news. My condolences to Judy, Eric and Nicole.
Bryan Campbell
April 1, 2020
I'm so saddened to hear of the passing of Freddy. I went through the Amherst schools with him. Will never forget the talks in homeroom and drivers Ed. Freddy you will be so greatly missed.
JoAnn Hall,Boadway
April 1, 2020
To the Harris family, I so sad to hear of Fred's passing. You could say I grew knowing Fred. From the Amherst VFW, Softball and working at Umass it was always a pleasure to run into Fred. Always a smile and a hug. My dad Brad and him has such a unique friendship, teasing and bantering with each other but would end it with a hand shake or a hug. When my dad passed Fred came to my office to offer his condolences and I will always remember his kind words about my dad. I will miss you Fred and I can still you your wonderful laugh. RIP
Betsy Thornton
April 1, 2020
To the Harris Family, we are so sorry for your loss! I worked at UMass 1980-1997 and Fred was a fixture. Pure kindness and grace. He was around little league when my kids played and was so positive and happy around the kids. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Larry snd Deb Adams
Deb Adams
April 1, 2020
I will always miss that smile I have always and will love the Harris family Rolling Green wouldnt have been the same. Mercy. APTTMH
Nava
Friend
April 1, 2020
I haven't seen Freddie since I left Amherst 35 years ago, but have never forgotten his smiling face and heartfelt laugh. Simply one of the nicest people you will ever meet. My sympathies are with his family. Rest in peace, Freddie.
Lisa Ann Maynard
April 1, 2020
I knew "Freddie" only at a distance. I was 2 years his junior in high school, but I will always remember him soaring thru the air and dunking the basketball with the ease of a bird in flight! He was amazing. My mother and I lived at Rolling Green Apts for a time and had the apartment above his parents. I must say I was very jealous of the fun and laughter the Harris family had every Sunday when the Patriots played!!!! Just honest and wholesome fun, many times I had thought of knocking on their door with some food and say, "Got another chair?" But of course, I was not so bold to intrude. I have sincerely wished I had, they had such a damn good time... My thoughts are with you, take care, Joanne Bunn
April 1, 2020
So taken aback hearing of Fred's passing. What a jovial soul Fred had. Condolences to all Fred's friends and family. Peace be with you always Fred you'll never be forgotten.
Michael Ross
April 1, 2020
Judy, So sorry to see that Freddie has past away. So many years ago playing ball with him on the VFW team when I was so young. May he rest in peace.
Mike paniczko
April 1, 2020
Fred and I became teammates in the Amherst Little League and remained teammates through high school. He was a great competitor and team leader, and a good friend. We're going to miss you, Fred.
Bill and Mary Clark
April 1, 2020
Judy, Eric and Nicole,

Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. Fred was such a fixture in the neighborhood. Always had a smile and a wave.
Praying for Fred and for all of you at this most difficult time.
Paula Drozdal
April 1, 2020
My sincere condolences to Judy and the Harris family. RIP my life-long friend.
Vinny Grandonico
April 1, 2020
The news of Fred's passing has brought tears to my eyes and a pain in my heart. I knew him from many years at UMass. He always had such an infectious smile and made everyone feel like they were his best friend. In later years, he always made my day when he would recognize me walking on campus and gave me such an enthusiastic and warm greeting. Fred was the heart of UMass. He will not be forgotten. May God bless you and grant you peace.
Brenda Clemons
April 1, 2020
Fred was a UMass icon. He always had a ready smile and a very friendly hello. Everyone loved Fred, and there are so many people who will miss him terribly, especially his loving family. My condolences to his wife, children, brothers, extended family and his many friends and acquaintances. Fred made UMass and the Happy Valley a more pleasant place to be in.
Connie Smith Milne
April 1, 2020
I was so very sorry to hear this news about Fred. I just saw him a few weeks ago and got the wonderful smile and chatted before he jeaded on his way home. My heart breaks for you, Judy, Eric, Nicole and the entire Harris family. R.I.P. Fred.
Kay Politella
Friend
April 1, 2020
Judy and Family... So, so sorry for your loss. Fred was a great person and it was always a pleasure to see him around at UMass. His smile and laugh was great and if you wanted to know about sports he would tell you. Try to remember all of the great memories you had with Fred.
Linda Belcher
April 1, 2020
Im so sorry to hear of Freds passing!! He was a friendly face that I always looked forward to seeing at UMass!! He had a very loving spirit!!!
Cathy Collins
Acquaintance
April 1, 2020
Judy, I'm so sorry to hear about Fred passing away. I'm sending a hug to you and your family. So so sorry.
Helen Stefan
April 1, 2020
To all the Harris family, we were so sorry to hear about Fred's passing. Way to young. On the ball field and when ever you saw him it was a big smile and Hi Wayne. He will be missed. Praying for all the family and Fred as he wings his way upward. God Bless you all.
Wayne Carey
April 1, 2020
Fred was just the nicest and friendliest person around. After years and years, he still remembered me from UMass and was just a great guy.
Carol Will
April 1, 2020
Nicole and family, I am sorry to hear about your loss. Fred was such a wonderful person! He will be remembered by many for his smiling face and friendly personality. Nicole, he loved you very much! I often gave him hints to take you to Disney, dont think it worked. ❤
Linda Berry
Friend
March 31, 2020
When I think of Fred I see his big smile and warm laugh. A very good man, he will be missed sorely.
Michael Stosz
March 31, 2020
Must sincere condolences for your incredible loss
Ellen McLane
Acquaintance
March 31, 2020
Condolences to Ricky's wife and entire family. May you draw strength and comfort from those who loved Ricky. The world has lost a kind loving soul. I grew up across the railroad tracks from him. He and my three brothers were always together. The four of them are together again in Heaven. Rest In Peace my friend.
Noli Bias Ewing
March 31, 2020
To Fred's family. So saddened and shocked to hear of his passing. Always loved when he came into my office vibrant smile, or hug you name it ....Whenever he went by my house on Bay Road it was a loud toot or stopped for a short visit. A bright shining star, a wonderful person will certainly be missed. Bless Fred and his family
Terri Mushenski
March 31, 2020
I am so sad to see this news. I work in athletics at UMass and live on bridge street so often saw Fred in the neighborhood. Every time he saw me he would honk and pull over to chat for a few minutes about the state of athletics. Always a warm smile, a hey how you doing, and a be good young lady. I hope with all my heart that the great memories can ease your pain
Jennifer Brodeur
March 31, 2020
My deepest sympathies to Freds family. For many years, I used to run into Fred regularly outside Whitmore, and we always had wonderful conversations, mostly about UMASS basketball. Fred was a friendly and kind-hearted man, and he will be missed by many.
Susan Pearson
Acquaintance
March 31, 2020
I always looked forward to seeing Fred at our home games and around the campus. Condolences to Eric & the family.
Daryn Freedman
Friend
March 31, 2020
Umass was a better place because of Fred and so was VFW.
Linda Hillenbrand
Friend
March 31, 2020
God bless Fred a fiend and neighbo Bridge Streetr, lover of animals, his country and loved by those woho knew him.
Ray & Phyllis Capers
March 31, 2020
I was lucky to be Fred's neighbor for 3 years many years ago. Coming home from work I could usually count on Fred being out and welcoming me with a smile and animated conversation. Always positive and upbeat, a joy to have known. Our community has lost a real bright light. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
Garry Young
March 31, 2020
I am so sadden with this news. Fred (Freddie to me) and I went to the Amherst Schools together, and worked at Umass. I knew his dad and have fond memories of the bowling alley and Freddie. I knew him as a softball player. Probably on of my favorite people . I was always happy to see him at the Mullins Center. A tragic loss from an ugly virus. And way too young. My condolences to his family and may he Rest In Peace and always have that beautiful smile. God Bless
Carol Campbell
Friend
March 31, 2020
So sorry to hear of Fred's death. For years I've often encountered Fred out walking Snickers (Rest in Peace) on the bike path and enjoyed talking with him. I will miss this wonderful neighbor.
March 31, 2020
Judy, My heart breaks for you and your family. Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. He was always smiling when I saw him outside the mail room in Goodell or dropped you off at home. That always raised my spirit! I pray he is at peace and send you my deepest condolences. God Bless
Jan Kozloski
March 31, 2020
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Robin Howard
Friend
March 31, 2020
What a shock. Will miss Fred going by the house stopping to chat or blowing his car horn and waving ....Will always remember him at UMass. A teriffic all around man. RIP in Peace Fred
Terri Mushenski
March 31, 2020
From all of us in the Washburn family, we are heartbroken for the Harris family. We look forward to celebrating Fred's life when we are able. Sending love. Fred, Harold, Sallyann, Shimon, Yael and Kaitlin
Kaitlin E
Friend
March 31, 2020
Ive known Freddy since 1974, probably the 1st day I worked at UMass. He always had a kind word, smile, an infectious laugh, and would brighten your day. A true gentleman who will be missed. Thoughts and prayers to the family
Bruce Parkin
Friend
March 31, 2020
One of the finest people you could ever meet or grow up with
peter keyser
March 31, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Vincent Boyle
Acquaintance
March 31, 2020
Even years after moving out of the neighborhood I would always honk and wave at Fred anytime I passed by the house and saw him outside. My condolences to his family at this difficult time.
Sean Hoyt
March 31, 2020
Fred was a staple along with his son Eric at the end of the UMass Basketball bench in the 1990's. He was a friend to all and will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathies to you all.
Matt Komer
March 31, 2020
My sincere condolences to the Harris Family during this sad time...
During my numerous interactions with Fred, while working at UMass over the years, he always had a smile, along with some words of wit to go along, and share...
My he rest in peace...

Lee Forester
Westfield MA
Bennie Forester
March 31, 2020
So very sorry to hear this news. Freddy was always smiling, he will be missed by many. Rest In Peace
Beth and
Friend
March 31, 2020
Fred was a wonderful man! I'm heartbroken at his loss. May you find peace in the memories you shared.
Paula McCullough
March 31, 2020
I am truly saddened to hear of this, I worked with Fred for many years. What an amazing, fun and kind hearted man! My deepest condolences to all of his family and close friends, I am hurt by his passing, I can't imagine how you all must feel. Peace be with you all - for surely your lives were richer for knowing him. You were "the bomb" Freddy.
Mike Townsend
March 31, 2020
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