Helen Harris

Helen Louise "Grammy-Bear" Harris, 88, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008.

She was born to Thomas and Mary Neview in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 13, 1920. She was the fourth child in a family of five children.

While living in the suburbs of Detroit at the age of 7, Helen's world was shattered by tragedy when both of her parents were killed in an accident. A train hit their stalled car on the railroad tracks.

She, her brothers and sisters then were raised by different relatives.

On Feb. 4, 1938, Helen married Ralph Harris, and together they had 13 children.

As the children grew, Helen and Ralph soon were blessed with grandchildren.

Helen called them all her "little angels," and they came to call her "Grammy-Bear."

In 1974, she and Ralph, with their three youngest children, moved to Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

In 1975, tragedy struck the family again when their youngest child, Christopher, was killed in an automobile accident; he was 16 at the time. Both Helen and Ralph were devastated by the loss of their son.

Ralph passed away in 1986. Helen then moved to Columbia, S.C., to be near her son, Michael, and his family in 1987.

She remained there until 1993, when she moved back to Arizona, to Kingman, to live with her son, Fred, and his wife, Carol.

At the time of her passing she was living with her youngest daughter, Annette, and her husband, Jim.

She is preceded in passing by her parents, Thomas and Mary Newview, in 1928; her son, Christopher Harris, in 1975; her brothers, Fredrick in 1995, and Thomas in 1999; her sisters, Josephine in 2000, and Elizabeth (Bessie) in 2002; her daughter-in-law, Helen Harris in 2002; and her son-in-law, Joseph (Benny) Kleitch in 2006.

She is survived by her children, Mary Kleitch of La Grande, Ore., Barbara (Michael) Sandor of Lexington, S.C., Geraldine (George) Feld of Sterling Heights, Mich., Michael (Lee) Harris of Lexington, S.C., Charles Harris of Las Vegas, Roy Harris of California, Judith (Timothy) DeMara of Grand Rapids, Mich., Frederick (Carol) Harris of Milford, Mich., Catherine (Robert) Brooks of Prescott Valley; Karen Gordon of East Pointe, Mich., James Harris of Harrison Township, Mich., and Annette (James) Ilgenfritz of Kingman.

She also is survived by her 17 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren, all her "little angels."

God bless you, Grammy-Bear; you will be missed.

Visitation was on Monday, Nov. 3, with the recitation of the Rosary, at Sutton Memorial Funeral Home in Kingman.

Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Kingman, with interment at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at Lake Havasu Memorial Gardens Cemetery.