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Wednesday, April 7, 2010
In memoriam: Sherwood Harris comes home to Beaufort
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In memoriam: Sherwood Harris comes home to Beaufort

A chapter in the history of small-town Beaufort–when its economy depended almost entirely on harvesting, packing and shipping seafood and vegetables–will come to a close Thursday, April 8, when the ashes of Sherwood Harris will be interred in the cemetery of the Parish Church of St. Helena.

Sherwood Harris, 76, a writer and editor who was former director of publications for Washington National Cathedral, died September 7, 2009, in Oxford, Mississippi. He had Parkinson’s Disease. He was the only son of Mr. Sterling Harris, who owned and operated Harris Atlantic Crab Company for many years, canning crab meat at Port Royal. He also restored and lived in Marshland, the historic house at 501 Pinckney Street, for many years.

Sherwood attended the Beaufort public schools until the tenth grade, when he went to Deerfield Academy and then on to Princeton.

In accordance with his request, a group of his old friends will inter his ashes in his family plot at the cemetery of the Parish Church of St. Helena at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, April 8. The Reverend Andrew Pearson will perform a short service.

The following obituary from The Washington Post gives many of Sherwood Harris’ accomplishments.

He was graduated from the Navy Officers’ Training School in Newport, Rhode Island, and the Navy’s Flight School in Pensacola, Florida. On active duty, he flew as a bomber carrier pilot on the USS Roosevelt. He continued flying in the Naval Reserve for 17 more years, retiring as a commander. He formed and headed Harris Associates which contracted with Time-Life Books to produce and publish several books annually.

He came to Washington, DC, in 1961 at the request of Edward R. Murrow, who was the director of the US Information Agency during the Kennedy administration. At the USIA, he was deputy editor of the Russian and Polish language editions of the agency’s magazine Amerika.

He left Washington, DC in the 1960s but returned 30 years later and became the editor of Washington National Cathedral’s quarterly magazine as well as director of all its publications. He moved to Mississippi in 2001.

He was born in New York City and grew up on the eastern shore of Maryland and in Beaufort, South Carolina. He was graduated from Princeton University and served in the Navy as a pilot.

Among his books are “First to Fly: Aviation Pioneer Days” (1970), “Great Flying Adventures” (1973), “The New York Public Library Book of How and Where to Look It Up” (1991), and “Mastering GPS Flying” (2005) with Phil Dixon.

His first wife, Lorna Briggs, died in 1993, and their daughter, Maggie Miner, died in 2004.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Shiver Harris of Oxford; three children from his first marriage, Michael Harris, Sue Wilkinson and Kathy Harris, all of New York; a step-daughter, Lela Shiver of Oxford; and 10 grandchildren.

Editor’s note: Thanks to W. Brantley Harvery, Jr., a friend of Sherwood’s, for the information that forms the content of this article.

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