Obituary Listings

Tessie "Terry" Koverda Harris

November 9, 1923 October 24, 2017
Tessie "Terry" Koverda Harris
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Obituary for Tessie "Terry" Koverda Harris

Tessie (Terry) K. Harris of Oak Ridge died on October 24, 2017, in her home. Mrs. Harris, born in New York City, lived in Peekskill, NY until 1941. She began her working career on the Manhattan Project in New York City in 1943 in the Woolworth building before relocating to Oak Ridge in 1944. Her first assignment was in the Industrial Relations Department and later the Power Plant as a secretary and safety coordinator. She met and married, Warren W. Harris in 1945. Mr. Harris originally worked at the SAM Laboratories at Columbia University before coming to Oak Ridge. He retired as a physicist and died in 1989.
As an accomplished and avid seamstress Terry used her talents in many capacities for her family and the community. This included designing and making costumes for early productions of Shakespeare and other period plays at the Oak Ridge Community Playhouse. Later she served in the St. Stephen’s, the state and the national altar guilds for the Episcopal Church. She was President of the National Association of Diocesan Altar Guilds for the Episcopal Church for six years.
She was an active and dedicated volunteer in the Methodist Medical Center Gift Shop and served as treasurer of the Gift Shop Volunteers. She was instrumental in the re-establishment of “Socks for new Christmas babies” program.
Mrs. Harris is survived by two children: Walter (Gwen) of Yorktown, VA and Helen (Thomas) Knight of Chattanooga, TN; three grandchildren: Thomas (Laura) Knight and Cynthia (Ed) Adams of Chattanooga, TN, Nathan Harris of New York City and three great grandchildren: Thomas and Robert Knight and Ruth Adams; her brother, Fredrick Koverda of Beacon, NY and cousin, Helen Murtha of Port St. Lucie, FL.
The Harris family is grateful to Julie Miller, her daughters and her husband for the care and support given to their mother.
Terry will be interned at St Stephen’s Memorial Garden in a private family service. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Methodist Medical Center Volunteers, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Alter Guild or a charity of choice. Arrangements by Weatherford Mortuary. An online guest book can be signed at

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Volunteer Services of Methodist Medical Center

PO Box 2529
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-2529

St. Stephens Episcopal Church Altar Guild

212 N. Tulane Avenue
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

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