Charles E. Harris, age 61, passed away peacefully at home Wednesday, July 17, 2019, with his wife at his side, following a long and hard battle against mesothelioma.
Chuck was born on April 29, 1958, in Milwaukee, the second son of Arthur and Carolann Harris. He attended Menomonee Falls North High School and met Cheryl "Sherry" Van Dien and they quickly became best friends.
After completing his GED in 1975, Chuck enlisted in the United States Navy where he became a boiler technician on the USS Sampson DDG10 Guided Missile Destroyer. Chuck and Sherry became closer as they stayed in touch writing letters, sharing phone calls and spending time together when Chuck came home on leave.
After the Navy, Chuck became employed at AFW Foundry in Lannon and worked as a dedicated employee for over 35 years. Chuck and Sherry were married on Sept. 27, 1981. They shared a lot of common interests, especially a love of nature and wildlife. They enjoyed traveling across the U.S. and Mexico: hiking, camping, rock climbing, visiting state and national parks. Some of their favorite places to visit were: Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, Big Bend National Park in Texas and Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin. Chuck was an avid fisherman and enjoyed ice fishing in the winter even in the coldest weather. Chuck and Sherry also enjoyed going to concerts including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Ozzie Osbourne and Robert Plant to name just a few. They began adopting exotic birds into their family in the early 1980s. In 1986, they moved to Hubertus and began breeding exotic birds. From the mid '80s through the late '90s photographs of their beautiful birds were often in Bird Talk Magazine, an international publication, making them very proud.
In 1998 Chuck and Sherry moved to Reeseville. In 2007 they became interested in adding a shelter dog to their family and adopted Sasha, a Siberian husky from the Rock County Humane Society in Wisconsin. In 2013, Sasha passed away and they adopted their second Siberian husky rescue dog, Carmela, from Free Spirit Siberian Rescue in Harvard, Illinois.
Chuck was very proud of all the home improvement projects they did over the years especially in the yard, building the retaining wall and adding multiple perennial gardens that make a beautiful display all year round. He worked hard hauling huge decorator rocks and building different levels for more plantings. Having a yard full of plants, flowers, birds and butterflies was what they always wanted. It brought their love of nature home.
His survivors include Sherry, his wife of nearly 38 years; his mother, Carolann Harris; his three brothers, Chris (Brenda) Harris, Dan Harris and David Harris; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Chuck was preceded in death by his father, Arthur Harris.
There will be a gathering at Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 11 a.m. until the time of the memorial service, which will begin at 1 p.m. A luncheon will follow the service at the funeral home.
Koepsell-Murray Funeral & Cremation Services
N7199 N. Crystal Lake Road Beaver Dam