Ophelia Harris, known as “Phe,” a longtime resident of Springs, died at her home on November 29 from natural causes. She was 91.
Ms. Harris was born in 1922 to Grover Cleveland and Mary Elizabeth Bass of Cumberland City, Tennessee, graduating from the local high school. She went on to attend Sullins College in Bristol, Virginia, and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where she earned her teaching degree. While at Vanderbilt, she met her husband, Elwyn R. Harris, of Springs who was stationed in Tennessee before heading to Europe for World War II. After the war, they settled in Springs where they raised two children, Richard and Beth.
She loved to read, garden, cook and maintain a warm and cozy household. She was a seventh and eighth grade teacher at Springs School during the 60s and 70s, teaching English, math, and history, and later as the school librarian. After her retirement, she served on the East Hampton Town Ethics Committee. She was a longtime member of the Delta Kappa Gamma educational society.
After her husband died in 1971, she befriended John Damiecki of Bridgehampton. Together they raised potatoes, managed a vineyard, traveled extensively, and maintained a close relationship for more than 40 years.
She is survived by a son, Richard of Tennessee; a sister, Allene Talmage of Springs; five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a daughter, Beth, in 2012.
A memorial service will be held at the Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church on Thursday, December 5, at 10 a.m. with a reception to follow at the Bridgehampton Firehouse. Her ashes will be interred in the Harris family plot at the Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor during a private ceremony.
Memorial donations may be made to East End Hospice, www.eeh.org.