Wesley T. Harris of Riverhead entered into eternal rest on June 10, 2012. Beloved husband of Helen for 62 years, he was a most loving father of Christine Zuhoski (Peter), Deborah Harris and Leslie Finnican (Michael); Dziadzi to Peter, Krystyna and Larissa Zuhoski and Mary-Ashley Finnican; and “Uncle Wes” to many. He was 89 years old.
The son of Frank P. and Suzanna (Blazot) Harris, Wesley was born in Cutchogue and came to Riverhead at two months of age. He was the 11th of 14 children and was predeceased by all.
Wesley was an accomplished athlete who enjoyed baseball, basketball and football. He was co-captain of the Riverhead Royals football team, holding the positions of defensive back and receiver. He graduated from Riverhead High School in 1941 and was inducted into the Riverhead High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. He was a member and manager of the Doc’s Tavern slow pitch softball team.
Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943, Wesley served his country during World War II in the European-African Theater in Africa and Italy with the 803rd Military Police Battalion Company C. He was honorably discharged in December 1945.
Wesley was an electrical contractor who owned his own business. He retired in 1997.
Active in the community throughout his life, Wesley was a member of the Polish Town Civic Association, member and director of the Riverhead Polish Independent Club and lifelong member of both the Riverhead Lions Club and the Van Rensselaer Veterans of Foreign War Post 2476, serving as chairman of the VFW Scholarship Fund. A fixture at local ballgames, he cheered on the children of family and friends in addition to his home teams. Known for his skill and love of polka dancing, he was once crowned Polka King.
Wes was a true gentleman. He treated people with respect and dignity, never leaving a kind word unspoken. Be it sharing his business sense or lending a helping hand, he was generous in every way and always eager to help anyone he could. A devoted family man of quiet strength and strong faith, he and his family were longtime members of St. Isidore’s Parish. He will be missed by many beloved family members and treasured friends.
Visiting hours will take place Thursday, June 14, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Friday, June 15, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Isidore R.C. Church in Riverhead. Wesley will be buried with his comrades at Calverton National Cemetery, as per his wishes.
He was a man of The Greatest Generation.
A memorial fund will be established for a scholarship for a local high school student athlete who wishes to attend college.