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Joyce T. Harris (nee: Thome) , 95, was born to eternal life on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Joyce was born on April 6, 1922 to Margaret (nee: Miles) and Joseph George Thome “Pop” in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, where she was raised alongside her sister Eunice and brothers Joseph “Bud” and Timothy. The family moved from their farm in Elkhorn to Racine in 1936 to attend to Pop’s ailing mother.
Joyce attended Holy Name grade school, and graduated with honors from Washington Park High School in 1940. While in high school, Joyce was a member of the National Honor Society, class secretary, associate editor of the Franklin Crier, member of the Library Club and president of the Commercial Honor Club.
After graduation, Joyce went on to work as an executive secretary at Massey Harris Co., where she met William C. Harris (Bill) and they began to date. On September 18, 1944, Joyce and Bill were wed while Bill was on active leave from his duty as a Captain of a PT boat during WWII. Shortly after Bill finished his active service time, they moved to Philadelphia while Bill completed medical school and then back to Racine where they would start a family. The family resided in Racine until the early 1970’s when Bill and Joyce bought a farm in Yorkville, Wisconsin that was their home for over forty years. Joyce and Bill celebrated seventy-two years of marriage prior to his passing in 2016.
A devoted wife and loving mother of seven children, Joyce enjoyed sharing her love of cooking, baking and sewing with her children and neighborhood children and friends. She was a 4H leader for over twenty years, a member of the Homemaker’s Club, a member of Holy Name, Sacred Heart and St. Robert Bellarmine parishes. Joyce enjoyed sharing her love of games with her family and belonged to a ladies bridge club for forty four years where she established many endearing friendships. Joyce enjoyed many sports, especially bowling, and attending Racine Raider Football games, Milwaukee Braves and then Milwaukee Brewer games and was an avid Green Bay Packer fan.
After her children were grown, Joyce devoted her time to volunteering at St. Mary’s Hospital in Racine where she and two other volunteers created and ran the SMILEs program, a bingo type telecast program dedicated to bringing smiles to patients.
Joyce will be remembered by those who knew her as one of the kindest people they ever had the pleasure of knowing. Her smile and laugh would fill any room she was in. She welcomed everyone with open arms and a caring heart. She opened her home & kitchen table to family and friends with grace and love.
Joyce is dearly missed by her children, Susan (Robert) Ruland, Sally Harris, Bruce (Mary Claire) Harris, Carol Ricker, Scott Harris, Marcia (Michael) Gauger, Nancy (Keith) Grayson; 14 grandchildren; 2 great grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends. In addition to her parents, Joyce was preceded in death by all of her siblings.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 12 p.m. at Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home. Deacon Russell Missureli will officiate. Family and friends may gather to meet with the family from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. prior to the service.
In lieu of financial donations, please remember Joyce by extending an act of kindness to someone in need