Peter W. “Pete” Harris, age 88, a longtime resident of Naperville, IL, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 23, 2022 at his home. He was born January 4, 1934 in Elstree, Hertfordshire, England.
Beloved husband of Gillian Harris (nee Marnham) and the late Rita Harris (nee O’Donnell), loving father of Lisa (Devon) Polderman of Berwyn, IL and William J. “Bill” (Sharon) Harris of Seattle, WA, adored grandfather of Corabelle and Maisey Polderman, devoted son of the late Wilfred and Christine (nee Fyson) Harris, dear brother of Richard Harris of England, fond brother-in-law, cousin, uncle, great-uncle and friend of many.
Peter lived a very full life. He was born in England, and moved to India at a young age where his father served in the British Indian Army. During WWII, Peter, his brother Richard, and their mother Christine spent time in Egypt and South Africa, returning to England after the war ended.
Peter believed that one should fully engage with life and he lived this way himself. After fulfilling his national service with the British Army, Peter immigrated to Canada where he worked as a farm laborer and a vacuum cleaner salesmen before becoming a Roman Catholic priest. He came to the U.S. in the mid-1960s and served as a priest in a parish on Chicago’s South Side where he eventually met and later married his first wife, Rita O’Donnell, a former Catholic nun, in 1969.
After leaving the priesthood, Peter entered computer programming just as that field was getting started. He thoroughly enjoyed the innovation and creativity of those early days in computer programming. Peter spent the rest of his career in computer programming, primarily with Standard Oil/BP Oil.
In his mid-50s, Peter reconnected with his childhood friend and first love, Gillian Marnham. They married in 1990 and had 31 happy years together in their home in Naperville. They enjoyed traveling abroad, going to the theater, reading books on every topic and spending time with their children and grandchildren. Peter was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he was active in bible study until the last years of his life.
Peter instilled of love of learning and conversation, and a desire to live boldly in his children. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, February 6, 2022 from 2:00-6:00 PM at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 44 S. Mill St., Naperville.
Funeral services will be held Monday, February 7, 12:00 PM at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 44 S. Mill St., Naperville. The service will be live-streamed at friedrich-jones.com for those who are unable to attend. The live-stream link can be found on Pete’s website obituary.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Pete’s memory may be made to the Morton Arboretum, where family and friends will sponsor a tribute tree for him. Should you wish to help support the tribute tree, please use the following link, where you will select “Other Amount” and list Peter Harris as the honoree.
For more information, please visit www.friedrich-jones.com or call (630) 355-0213.
Published by Naperville Sun on Jan. 30, 2022.