It is with the deepest regret that the family of Marion Ethel (Downey) Harris beloved wife of Ralph D. Harris, of 62 + years, of Oromocto announce her passing at home on May 29. While she will be deeply missed the family takes great comfort in the knowledge that she is no longer in pain and is at home with her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Marion was born on October 9, 1931, to Roy and Grace Downey, at home, in her beloved Albert Mines, Albert County. She was the fourth of five children and the second of two girls in the Downey family.
Marion’s professional life revolved around the field of Education, toiled for 35 years, beginning at the tender age of 16. As a graduate of the Provincial Normal School with a first class licence, the University of NB with a Bachelor of Teaching and a Bachelor of Education and the University of Maine with her Masters in Testing. Education was extremely important to her. Marion taught in Albert Mines, Uplands, Stilesville and Hillsborough, all in Albert County, before arriving in Oromocto in 1957. Marion always liked to tell the story that on her first day in the classroom in Oromocto she had one student and got paid at noon hour. This is also where she met the love of her life, Ralph.
In Oromocto she taught in Hubbard, Assiniboine, Drummond and Summerhill. She was vice-principal at both Drummond and Summerhill before moving to the School Board Office where she provided a much respected program for students with special needs. She retired from the School Board Office as a highly respected educator in 1985.
Besides her husband and best friend, Ralph, Marion is survived by her son, Douglas (Gerry) of Fredericton, grandson, Kenneth (Selena), great granddaughters, Mackenzie and Riley; daughter, Cheryl (Randy) White, grandson, Andrew of Edmonton, great granddaughter, Sadie and great grandson, Bodie, granddaughter, Sarah (Anthony) Wells, great grandsons, Parker and Simon, great granddaughter, Ava. She is also survived by her brother Dale of Pugwash, NS.
Marion was predeceased by her parents, her mother and father-in-law, Hilda and Edgar Harris, her brothers Autho (Lillian) and John, as well as a sister Louise (Ray Steeves).
After moving to Oromocto in 1964, Marion became a faithful member of the Oromocto United Church where she taught explorers for several years. Was a regular member of the Oromocto Women’s Auxiliary and helped other members of the congregation provide meals for the Rotary Club of Oromocto for a number of years. She was also a volunteer with the Oromocto Hospital Auxiliary.
Ralph and family express our most heartfelt thanks to the Oromocto Extra Mural Healthcare Workers who are so dedicated. Thank you so much for answering so many of our questions related to Marion’s health and for being so patient and kind with her. Our heartfelt thanks also go out to Richard Paradis from Bayshore for his care and professionalism towards Marion. She would not have been able to stay at home without his help and patience.
A visitation will be held at Oromocto United Church on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, from 2 – 4 pm and 6 – 8 pm. A Funeral Service will take place at Oromocto United Church on Thursday, June 2, 2022, at 2 pm with Rev. Lori Beth Sheffield-Bowles officiating. In accordance with the church’s policies, attendees must wear masks and sanitize while in the church. Interment will be held at the Oromocto Pioneer Gardens at a later date.
For those who wish to remember Marion, flowers will be gratefully received, but should you wish to make a donation we are suggesting the Oromocto United Church or a charity that works with children.