NEWTOWN, Maine — Mary Lee (Elizabeth) Harris, 94, who died peacefully surrounded by the love of her family on October 12, 2011 at Chandler Hall in Newtown, where she resided for the last six years. Mary Lee was interred in East Bethel, ME with family and friends in attendance.
She was a resident of Naples FL, New London NH, S. Woodstock VT, Warrington PA, Germantown PA, Syracuse NY, and the place of her birth and upbringing Waltham MA.
Mary Lee distinguished herself early by winning a full four-year scholarship to the College of Fine Arts (VPA) at Syracuse University for the best entering portfolio at the age of 16. She inherited great artistic talent from her father, Hoyland Bettinger, a listed artist and a founding member of the Carmel Art Association.
She married Arthur Harris in 1938 and the couple moved to Germantown, PA where she was the Director of the Art Department at Curtis Publishing in Philadelphia.
Mary Lee’s was a life well lived. Beyond raising three successful children, she served her community and the lives of others primarily through the United States Pony Club and P.E.O. International. She was the District Commissioner of the Huntington Valley Hunt Pony Club and then the Regional Supervisor for Eastern PA/NJ from 1958 – 62, and a lifetime member.
A member of P.E.O for 66 years, she was devoted to improving the lives of women through steadfast sisterhood and education. She started the Doylestown chapter and a Naples chapter, and president of many. She was a prime mover in the formation of the Northeast District State Chapter (coalescing VT, NH, ME, & RI) and its first Vice President.
She was a friend to many. She was a volunteer for many years at the Doylestown Hospital and for the Shelter for Abused Women & Children in Naples FL.
She is survived by her three children: Stephen B. Harris, Esq. of Warrington PA, Richard B. Harris of Furlong PA, and Wendy Harris of Syracuse NY; four granddaughters Tobi Harris Quinlan, Stephenie Harris, Emily Harris, Rebecca Harris, and one great grandson Patrick Harris Quinlan.
Contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the women’s shelter in your town.
This obituary first appeared in the October 20th print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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