Virginia Harris

With over 100 well-wishers, Virginia C. Harris, of Oak Park, recently celebrated her 100th birthday with a get-together at Andersen Rec Center. Virginia has been a longtime resident of Oak Park, having lived in the community for over 70 years. She was married to William A. Harris for 49 years and is the mother of five children: Sandra, Gail, Susan, Mary, and Bill; grandmother to 12 and great-grandmother to 18. One grandson, Joshua, was killed in action in 2008 while serving the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

Virginia was active in community activities during the time her children were growing up in Oak Park. While the girls were little, she supported their Brownie and Girl Scout activities and when her son became a Cub Scout, she began her long service to the Boy Scouts of America serving on various committees and commissions. She attended the Philmont Scout Camp in New Mexico several times and earned several degrees within the Boy Scout Organization. She earned a Doctorate of Cub Scout Training, the President’s Medal, and the Silver Beaver for her service. She continues to act as an advisor to many individuals who need help with ideas and activities for the Scouts.

Once her children were grown, she became involved in several other groups in Oak Park, including the Women’s Exchange both as a crafter and sales associate, and as a helper in the lunchroom program at Whittier Elementary School. She served as an election judge for many year in Oak Park and River Forest. Additionally, she belongs to a craft group which now meets regularly in her home. The group has made handcrafted items for various groups in local communities. She is able to create her own patterns for their use.

Virginia has been active in the activities at Judson Baptist Church in Oak Park. She served as a nursery attendant for over 60 years, was awarded a plaque for her service, and just last year the nursery was renamed the Virginia C. Harris Memorial Nursery. She continues to make original needlepoint ornaments for the children in the nursery each year and they have already been completed for this year. Each year the ornaments she makes are different from the previous year’s ornaments.

She is an avid reader and crafter and has taught each one of her children the wonderful art of crafting. She remains active in all of her children’s, grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s lives and cooks dinner for her family each Sunday with as many as 15 family members present.

It is a rare occasion when one can serve her family, community and church for as many years as Virginia has. She is truly a one of a kind individual.

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