Age 49, of DeWitt, MI, passed away January 17, 2016. Kathleen was born November 15, 1966, in Lansing. She graduated from DeWitt High School in 1984. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Antioch College and her Master of Science degree in Physiology from Temple University. She enjoyed her work in research at various universities. Despite her health issues and pain, she seldom complained.

She is survived by her mother, Lee Mead; the love of her life, David Fertal; and stepsiblings, Michael (Lisa) Mead, Charlene (Emerson Hyde) Mead, Patrick (Angela) Mead, and their children. She was preceded in death by her father, Bill Harris; stepfather, Gale Mead; and all of her grandparents.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 25, 2016, at North Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lansing. Her family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m. on Sunday at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

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7 Messages to “Kathleen Sue Harris”

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  1. 7
    Ozz Says:

    I remember the first time I met Kathleen Harris. I had opened a coffee shop at Antioch, and I was in early with my boss, trying to figure out how to take inventory. I heard someone, who looked like they had been sleepwalking, pounding at the door with the largest empty coffee cup I had seen. I tried to shoo her away… “We’re closed!” but she kept pounding and pointing to her cup. I let her in, put on a pot and went back to trying to set up an inventory system with an old computer, trying to learn a “Quattro” spreadsheet.

    After the first pot, she asked, “Whatcha doing?” I mentioned inventory and the spreadsheet, she responded “I love Quattro, mind if I take a look.” as the magic flowed from her fingers to the keyboard. We took inventory, she taught me about spreadsheets, and we set up an accounting system. This was the first lesson I learned from Kathleen — give the customers what they need, and good things will follow. Thereafter, and to present, I catch myself calling her “Caffeine” almost as much “Kathleen”.

    Kathleen was always up for an adventure — although maybe “quest” would be a better word. I remember once when a friend and I were bored during a visit to DC after a wedding, I suggested that we tour/visit Philly to visit Kathleen for the evening. When we met, our request to show us Philly met with a bit of a blank stare, but when my friend mentioned he wanted to see the Rockey statue, our quest was set. Caffeine summoned her magic, driving us around the city searching for the statue. Although the statue had been moved from it’s usual resting place, we saw much of the city, from tourist traps, to cheese steak, to the Rocky steps, to many of the less traveled, more “real” neighborhoods, finally finding the statue at 2:00 a.m. I will always remember her selfless determination to do what ever it takes to make something happen.

    Kathleen, I will never forget your enthusiasm for food, passion for science, and our other quests. I will never forget our many discussions about what is reasonable and right as we tried to figure out the world together, and her dedication to making the world a better place. Often, it wasn’t always an easy path, but that never deterred you. We will miss you.

  2. 6
    Matthew Baya Says:

    I am so sad to hear of Kathleen’s passing. I have nothing but good memories of her. A sharp, strong, and smart woman and a great friend, she will be missed.

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