Obituary of Burgess Harris |

Obituary of Burgess Harris

Burgess Harris recently completed a century long journey when she passed away at the age of 102.

She was born Lenora Burgess Hutchinson on the family farm January 5th, 1917, in Muddlety, West Virginia, the sixth of seven children born to Emerson and Dottie Chapman Hutchinson.

Along with her brothers and sisters and other farm children, she attended a one room school in Muddlety. She joked that she had to complete eighth grade twice because, during the height of the Great Depression, there was no transportation available to high school attendance.

When transportation finally became reality, she attended Nicholas County High School in Summersville, graduating in 1937. She was the first in her family to do so.

In 1942, she married a Summersville native, Wilson Bell. Not long after, Wilson was drafted into the Army and served with the Third Armored Division until he was killed in action near Aachen, Germany in September, 1944.

In 1951, Burgess married Howard “Treve” Harris, a union that would last until his death in 1996. Their 45 year marriage took them to northern Ohio, Southern California, back to Ohio, to Georgia, and finally back to Citrus Heights, California where

Burgess resided from 1971 to 2011. She moved to Grass Valley in 2011 and spent six years at Hilltop Commons, where she enjoyed many friendships and seldom missed an opportunity to enjoy card games and the many social events offered to residents. She took particular delight in celebrating her 100th Birthday there.

Declining health forced moves to Sierra View Manor and finally to Spring Hill Manor where she left us February 2, 2019.

As with many windows of the WW11 era, she was a single mother who worked to support herself and her young son. Throughout her life, she held numerous jobs and continued to work until finally retiring at 76.

She was preceded in death by her parents and by sisters Bea Smith, Lois Herold, and Virginia Harris, as well as by brothers Howard, Van and Joe.

She is survived by her son Richard Wilson Bell (Carol) of Grass Valley and by grandsons Michael Bell (Kris) of Nevada City and Aaron Bell (Tessa) of Boise, Idaho.

Her family is grateful to the dedicated staffs of Hilltop (and her caregiver there, Sherri Lush), Sierra View, and Spring Hill for often going above and beyond in serving her needs. At her request, no services were held. She asked only that the family remember her at Thanksgiving and Christmas, especially during those times when the raucous card games she so enjoyed are played.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User