David Jay Harris, age 82, beloved husband, father and grandfather and long-time GE Aviation designer; passed away on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. Harris and his cherished late wife, Shirley (Bushman) Harris, lived their 47-year married life in Fairfield, Ohio, raising their three daughters – Kim (Harris) Hibbard, Julie (Harris) Johnson and Lisa (Harris) Knutson – to believe life had no limits for them. A career design engineer for GE Aviation in Evendale, he worked on the B-2 bomber, earned more than 30 patents for aircraft fan blades and other parts, and participated in a number of key classified defense projects. He loved to doodle, often reaching for a piece of paper to help him illustrate a point. He also was an avid pool player and skeet shooter, and he religiously attended his grandchildren’s sporting events. Though the couple met on a blind date, Shirley Harris also served as a design engineer at GE Aviation and was involved in the lunar module project that launched in 1968. Her work with the lunar module took her to Avco Corp., a Cincinnati-based aerospace company. Neither Shirley nor Dave completed college, and they encouraged their daughters to get a good education and to dream big about their futures. Today, Hibbard is a technologist at International Paper; Johnson is an engineering designer for Hamilton Caster; and Knutson is CFO of The E.W. Scripps Co. Harris was born Jan. 21, 1937, in Glendale, a fifth-generation son of the family that still owns Glendale’s historic The Century Inn. The family of Harris’s mother, Edith (Arns) Harris Brownfield, opened the inn in 1806, and it was known as a key waypoint across the region from Fort Washington to Fort Hamilton. In addition to his wife, who died in 2005, Harris was preceded in death by his mother; his father, James Colton Harris; and a brother, John “Bo” Harris. He is survived by his brother, Logan Brownfield; his three daughters and their spouses: Charlie Hibbard, Preston Johnson and Steve Knutson; six grandchildren: Chad Hibbard, Kaitlyn Hibbard, David Johnson, Samantha Knutson Bhapkar, Emma Knutson and Joe Knutson; and two great-grandchildren: Piper and Arya. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Research Hospital, Camp Joy and Bake Me Home – a nonprofit that sends cookies to troops overseas. Visitation will be Thursday, January 9, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. until time of service at 12:30 p.m. at the Avance Funeral Home and Crematory, 4976 Winton Rd., Fairfield 45014, with Pastor Tim White officiating. Condolences may be offered at www.avancefuneralhome.com
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