Good Cheer's Harris dies

"Tom Harris could frequently be found at Deer Lake, catching trout from the public dock.Record file photoTom Harris, manager of Langley's Good Cheer thrift store, died of a sudden heart attack Monday.An employee at the store since early 1992, Harris, 52, was well known for both his work in the store and in Good Cheer's food bank. His friendly presence was always welcome, and he spent many off duty hours at Deer Lake, where he enjoyed fishing for trout from the public dock.Brenda Thorn, Good Cheer's assistant manager, said Tuesday that store and food bank employees were in shock. She said Harris called the store Monday morning from the Seattle area to find out if he needed to bring anything back to the island later in the day. At about 3 p.m., the employees received a phone call informing them that Harris had died. The employees closed the store early Monday, but reopened on time Tuesday. Thorn said she and the staff are not planning to close the store or change its hours because of Harris' death.Sue Harris said Tom was helping a friend unload a truck at a storage facility when he suffered a massive coronary. Emergency personnel told her he died almost immediately. He had no history of heart trouble.Tom Harris was born Dec. 7, 1947 in the Seattle area, and came to Whidbey Island in 1983. He went to work for Good Cheer in 1992 and was promoted to manager several years ago. Survivors include Sue Harris, his first and only wife, of Clinton; his mother, Gloria Laurine of Bothell; daughters, Stephanie Johnston of Mukilteo, and Jennifer Richards of Marysville; grandson, Seth Thomas Richards; and brother, Kenneth Dean of Bothell.He was loved very dearly by this family, said Sue Harris.A memorial service will be held Saturday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Clinton. "

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