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Obituary: Wayne G. Harris

Published January 14, 2014

Born :01-27-1958
Died: 01-13-2014
Birthplace: Newton
Resided In: Uxbridge
Visitation to be held on: Friday Jan. 24, 2014 from 4 – 8 PM in Uxbridge funeral home
Services to be held on: Saturday Jan. 25, 2014 at 11 AM in St. Mary’s Church, Uxbridge

Uxbridge – Wayne G. Harris, 55, died Mon. Jan. 13, 2014 in Milford Regional Medical Center, Milford. He lived every day to the fullest in spite of his ALS diagnosis. He was the husband of Eileen M. (Moriarty) Harris.

Mr. Harris had worked with the Developmentally disabled for 30 years and was an Occupational Therapist for the past 15 years at the Wrentham Developmental Center, Wrentham, where he had earned the recognition and respect of co-workers, staff and patients.

Wayne was known to be a generous person, distinguishing himself through his astute clinical knowledge, willingness to go all the way, flexibility in meeting residents’ needs and his creativity and determination in enhancing residents’ quality of life. He also volunteered his time ensuring residents would be able to attend community trips, vacations and social events they would otherwise not be able to attend.

His skill, dedication, spirited sense of humor, and genuine love for his individuals made him an asset to the facility. The Executive Staff at Wrentham Development Center have all said of Wayne that he was “an ordinary guy who has done extraordinary things and who has done himself and his profession proud.”

In December of 2009, Wayne was diagnosed with ALS. He never gave up and along with his wife, became an advocate for himself, educating medical professionals about the importance of quality of life issues for those living with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). For his efforts, Wayne was honored by the ALS Association’s Massachusetts Chapter in May of 2013.

Wayne was born Jan. 27, 1958 in Newton, son of the late Roy E. and Anna E. (Gentile) Harris. He was a graduate of Watertown High School, Class of 1976; Boston College, Class of 1984, earning his BA degree; and Worcester State College, Class of 1994, earning his BS Degree. A resident of Uxbridge since 1995, he had previously lived in Milford for 10 years and was raised in Watertown.

Mr. & Mrs. Harris observed their 31st wedding anniversary on April 3, 2013.

Mr. Harris cherished time spent with family and enjoyed traveling, golf, anything Boston College, and the outdoors. He was a member of St. Mary’s Church in Uxbridge.

In addition to his devoted wife Eileen, he is survived by one brother David J. Harris of Lexington and many nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

Visiting hours will be held Fri., Jan. 24, 2014 from 4-8 PM in the BUMA FUNERAL HOME, 101 N. Main St., Rte. 122, Uxbridge.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Sat., Jan. 25, 2014 at 11 AM in St. Mary’s Church, 71 Mendon St., Rte.16, Uxbridge.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Compassionate Care ALS, P.O. Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574.