Edward Alston Harris, Jr., 96, of Franklinton passed away on March 29, 2018.
He was born September 18, 1921, the son of Edward A. Harris, Sr, a native of Warren County, and Mary Kearney Harris of Franklinton. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Betty Dixon Harris, and four children and their spouses: Eddie (Pattie) of Youngsville, Jimmy (Susanne) of Franklinton, Betty Roberts (Reid) of Williamston, and Tommy (Rose) of Oxford. “Papa” is also survived by six grandchildren and their spouses: Shannon Chase (Chris) of Apex, Susan Lancaster (Daren) of Richmond, VA, Brian Roberts (Lauren) of Greenville, Kim Little (Craig) of Atlanta, Ben Harris (Ellen) of Henderson, and Nancy Pendergrass (Kevin) of Oxford. Also nine great-grandchildren: Connor, Harrison, and Lucy Chase; Ella Rose Lancaster; Alston Roberts; Parker and Andrew Little; and Matthew and Ryan Harris.
He was born in, and was a lifetime resident of, Franklinton and a 1939 graduate of Franklinton High School. He grew up on Main Street Franklinton with his many childhood friends as part of the Greatest Generation and was introduced to the Great Depression during the second half of his childhood when the local bank closed, taking his savings of $92.12. He enjoyed many activities and hobbies before and especially after retirement from spending time with his family and friends, watching and riding steam excursion trains, gardening, woodworking, and carpentry and was always busy with some project.
Ed began his career as an apprentice with the Western Union Telegraph Company and Railway Express Agency in Franklinton. Soon afterwards he was hired by the Seaboard Railroad as a telegraph operator and station freight agent. He worked at numerous Seaboard train stations between Raleigh and Richmond with Franklinton, Norlina, Ridgeway, and Kittrell (where he met his future wife Betty) being his favorites until entering military service in the spring of 1944. A veteran of WWII, he served with the U.S. Army’s Military Railway Transportation Corps in the European Theater where he was assigned as a dispatcher and clerk of troop and military supply trains in France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium. Upon honorable discharge from military service he was employed with the U.S. Post Office in Franklinton as a city letter carrier and held several other positions there until his retirement as a supervisor in 1978 with 33 years of service.
He was a member of the Franklinton United Methodist Church, life-time member of American Legion Post #52 in Franklinton, and a volunteer for the National Weather Service operating weather-related recording equipment in Franklinton for over 40 years.
The family wishes to thank the many wonderful caregivers for the loving care provided over the past year. He was blessed by God with many years of good health for which he and the family are truly grateful.
A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 2:00 PM at the Franklinton United Methodist Church followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall. A brief grave side service with military honors will be held at Fairview Cemetery in Franklinton following the reception at 4:00 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to the Franklinton United Methodist Church, 109 North Main Street, Franklinton, NC 27525, American Legion Post #52, P.O. Box 61, Franklinton, NC 27525, or to a favorite charity. Services by Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Center 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest, NC. Photo history of Ed’s life can be seen at www.brightfunerals.com.