Barr Memorial obituary – Charles S. Harris, 89, Fort Madison


Charles S. Harris, 89 years of Fort Madison passed away Wednesday August 2, 2017 at the Linn Manor Care Center, Marion, Iowa.  He was born July 11, 1928 in New Florence, Missouri, a son of Vollie and Rosa (Wilkerson) Harris.  On November 6, 1971, he married Grace Beecham in Fort Madison.


Charles was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War as a Machine Gunner.  He proudly shared with his family that a Machine Gunner’s life expectancy in the Korean War was three minutes, but he survived.  He retired from Farmall in Rock Island, Illinois where he worked as a machinist for 17 ½ years.  Charles continued to work and volunteer after his retirement.  He was a devout Christian and served for many years as a Deacon at Second Baptist Church in Fort Madison.  He enjoyed driving dialysis patients to and from their appointments for several years.  Charles could also be found whistling as he worked in his garden, sitting on a fishing bank, or working in his garage repairing tractors and lawn mowers, prior to failing health.  He was a member of the Joy Baptist Church, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Democrat Party.

He is survived by his wife, Grace Harris of Fort Madison, Iowa; three sons: Charles Harris Jr. of Seattle, Washington, Carey Jones of Dallas, Texas, Goef Harris of East Moline, Illinois; two daughters: Charlotte Hollingsworth, of Seattle, Washington and Mrs. Stacey (Lew) Montgomery of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; one step-son Gordon Beecham of Ankeny, Iowa; five step-daughters: Mrs. Deborah (Peter) Humphrey of Hayward, California, Theresa Burnough of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Dr. Rosalyn Beecham-Green of Savannah, Georgia, Mrs. Ruth (John) Hairston of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mrs. Janice (Julius) Cousin of Oak Park, Illinois; one brother, Robert (Josphine) Harris of Rock Island, Illinois; one sister, Mrs. Anna Mae (Kenneth) Byrd of McPhearson, Kansas; grandchildren; great grandchildren; nieces, nephews and cousins.  He was preceded in death by his parents, one son, Gregory S. Harris, two daughters: Teri Harris and Traci Harris, two step-sons, C. Steve Beecham and Aaron Beecham, one step-daughter, Johanna Beecham Williams, three brothers: Lyle Harris, Donald Harris and Vollie Harris and one sister, Patsy Redmond.

Family will greet friends at the Joy Baptist Church, Fort Madison on Monday August 7, 2017 from 10:00-11:00 am, one hour prior to service time.  Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am, with Reverend Earl Beal officiating.  Burial with full military rites will be at the Keokuk National Cemetery, Keokuk, Iowa.  A memorial has been established for the Joy Baptist Church, contributions may be made at the Barr Memorial Chapel or at the church.  Online condolences to the Harris Family may be at

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