September 13, 1917 – November 26, 2008

Charles “Andy” E. Harris, 91, of College Station passed away on Wednesday, November 26, 2008. Memorial services are set for 3 p.m. Saturday, December 6, at Christ United Methodist Church in College Station.

My grandfather came into the world to have blessed and honored us all. He was born one of four boys. His mother passed away when he was only 12 years old. His father remarried, giving him a stepbrother and stepsister. He would outlive all of them and be the last to say farewell to the world.

He had a love of baseball and was a natural athlete. He told me one of his greatest days was the day he had five hits during a double header game and made five dollars that day. He said, “I took the most wonderful and beautiful woman out in the whole world that night.” This amazing woman would eventually become his wife and my grandmother.

His baseball career was short-lived due to the war, he would be drafted for World War II and Battle of the Bulge. He served a little over five years under General Patton and even commanded Patton’s army Troop C. They saw and fought horrific battles until the war ended. He and Patton were like brothers and loved each other as such. My grandfather was wounded three days before the war and he ended up saving a man’s life and his own. They were the only two to make it out of his unit that day, wounded, but alive. He was a decorated war hero. He told me for him it wasn’t thinking about if he was making history or being a hero. It was about survival, taking care of your fellow man and he just wanted to go home.

He came back to the States and found a job working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He worked for more than 25 years and served at eight institutions, serving as warden at three of those institutions. He retired in 1972. He was very proud of this job because he made a difference.

He was preceded in death by his only child and son and daughter-in-law, Charles and Donna Harris.

Survivors include wife of more than 67 years, Helen Harris; two granddaughters, Heather Matthews and Kelly Criswell of Bryan and Andrea and Jason Ulmer of Colorado; and five great-grandchildren, Corwin Tate, Greyson and Kale Matthews and MaKayla and Ella Ulmer.

To all of you reading, this in the almost 38 years of being around my grandfather. I never heard him swear, raise his voice, talk bad of anyone or ever complain about anything. He never asked for a thank you or to be made a hero. To all of us that knew him, you just wanted to pull up a chair to talk about anything and everything with him. His intelligence and wisdom astounded you. Where we read about history in books and saw history on the news, my grandfather made history. If you ever met my grandfather you just loved him. He had such a great way of life, he lived it and never complained about a bad day.

It was my honor to have sat with my grandmother on one side of my grandfather and I in the bed with him on the other side as he said, “Good-bye” going home to Heaven in his last hours of life. To have seen so much love between my grandparents only one can imagine, but to witness it makes your cup runneth over. My grandfather is the greatest man I have ever known. You wanted to be a better person because he just had the ability to make you want to always do your best even if the odds were against you succeeding. We all love you and will miss you, Grandpa. The world is less because you have left us, but we are forever changed by you because of the man you were to all of us. You were our HERO, even if you did not want to be.

The family asks, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Heart Association in his name.

Advertisements