Reese H. Harris, III


NEW CANAAN, Conn.—Reese H. Harris, III died peacefully in the presence of family on Sunday, April 16, 2023. 

Reese H. Harris, III

He was a resident of New Canaan, CT. Reese was the son of Reese, Jr. and Dorothy Harris. He grew up in West Hartford, CT and attended Phillips Exeter Academy and the Taft School. He graduated from Brown University in 1958. 

Reese married Penny Fenn in 1956 and welcomed Reese, Ginny and Dorie. They moved to the Midwest for Reese’s work in sales, returning to West Hartford when he joined Fenn Manufacturing Co. in Newington, CT. 

Following Penny and Reese’s decision to part, Reese returned to sales and found new love and marriage with Nancy Hirt in 1971. Reese and Nancy welcomed Tensy and Doug to Reese’s beloved crew of children, his greatest pride and joy. 

Reese was an avid artist, musician and outdoorsman. He built strip-lathe kayaks & canoes and was an accomplished wood carver. He served as Commodore of the Pettipaug Yacht Club and was a longtime member of the Essex Yacht Club. As a board member of Okemo Mountain Ski Area, he helped envision expansion in the ‘70’s. Following Okemo, Reese, Nancy and children continued to have special memories at their home at Purgatory Ski Resort in Colorado. 

Reese was often found with a guitar nearby, as he was passionate about bluegrass & country music. He delighted all who knew him with his wit and wry sense of humor. He had a captivating smile and a warm and gracious manner. Reese was predeceased by his wife Nancy and his parents. 

He is survived by his brother, Ezra R. Harris and family, as well as his five children, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and two granddaughters-in-law. 

A memorial service will be held on Saturday June 10th at the First Congregational Church, Essex CT, at 10:00am. The location of the reception to be announced. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the First Congregational Church (6 Methodist Hill), the Essex Public Library (33 West Avenue), or the Pettipaug Sailing Academy (P.O. Box 372) of Essex CT 06426 are appreciated. To send the family personal condolences, please visit

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