DECATUR — Longtime Decatur resident Jessie Elizabeth Harris, 97, of Decatur died Saturday, September 28, 2013 at Decatur Memorial Hospital after a short illness.
Jessie was born May 28, 1916 in Decatur, the daughter of Carl and Christine (Kunz) Baldwin. She attended Decatur public schools and graduated from Millikin University in 1938 where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. She taught English at Forest City, Sullivan, and Macon high schools for many years. She married Harold J. Harris at Camp Lee, VA on July 31, 1942 after Harold graduated from Officers Candidate School.
Jessie is preceded in death by her parents, brother Donald C. Baldwin, her husband, Harold in 2004, and nephew, Jon Baldwin. She is survived by her son, Philip, of Springfield, IL, and her brother, Roger A. Baldwin and his wife, Evalyn, of Warr Acres, OK and, her nieces Leslie Baldwin of Cabin John, MD, Cheryl B. Frech, Norman, OK, Lynne Matzell of Edmond, OK, and Heidi Hassinger of Plattsburgh, NY; and a nephew, Kim Baldwin of Plattsburgh, NY, and several grandnieces and grandnephews.
Jessie enjoyed traveling to national parks with her husband and son. Their home looked out on Lake Decatur and Jessie especially enjoyed feeding and watching the many birds that visited their back yard.
From 2009-2011 Jessie lived at the Eagle Ridge Community in Decatur and enjoyed making new friends there. Her final two years were at Fair Havens Christian Home where she remained active and was known for her wit and love of conversation, and scurrying up and down the hallways in her wheelchair. The family is appreciative of the great care and kindness shown by Jessie’s many caregivers, especially Nelda Dunn, Eleanor Brandenburg, and Marilyn Oftedal, the staff at Fair Havens, and Dr. Carlos Fior. Jessie was a devoted mother, aunt and friend, and will be deeply missed.
Graveside service will be under the direction of Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Home with burial at Graceland Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 1, 2013. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Brother James Court, 2508 St. James Road, Springfield, IL, 62707, or to First Lutheran Church, 250 W. Decatur Street, Decatur IL, 62522.
Obituary written by family members.