×

Wood Funeral Home

784 Main Street, East Aurora, NY

OBITUARY

Thomas Harris

December 19, 1944August 23, 2020

Thomas A. Harris

of Clarence, NY, formerly a long-time resident of East Aurora, NY.

He leaves behind his beloved wife of 55 years, Elaine Wistran Harris; his children, Kimberly (Sean) McAtee, Christopher (Kristin) Harris, and Daniel (Lisa) Harris; his grandchildren, Katie and Michael Harris, Ethan and Sarah McAtee, and Quinn Harris; and a sister, Carol (John) Heffley.

Born in 1944 to Herbert and Eloise Harris, Tom lived in Buffalo, NY. He met Elaine Wistran on a blind date, fell in love and married her. They eventually moved to East Aurora where they made a wonderful home for their family.

Tom graduated from Kensington High School in Buffalo and went on to earn a degree in Forestry from Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks. That love and knowledge of trees eventually led him to begin creating beautiful furniture from their wood. One of his great delights was finding a pile of lumber in someone’s old barn which he could visualize as a one of a kind piece.

The business he started as “Tomorrow’s Antiques” became “The Schoolhouse Gallery”, where he and his partner, Ben Little, created furniture together for many years. His legacy of work can be found all across the country in places such as The Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, SC and Glacier National Park in Montana, as well as innumerable private homes and businesses.

If you were in a crowded room, you always knew where Tom was by simply listening for his infectious laugh. He brought great joy, in addition to wise counsel, to all those lucky enough to be in his life.

Tom was a leader in many capacities, serving on the East Aurora Village Board for a number of years, on the Tree Board of East Aurora, was Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 513 and Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 514 in East Aurora, and was President of the Board and leader of the Architectural Committee at Faun Lake, where he and Elaine enjoyed many years together and with their great friends. A Roycroft Master Craftsman, Tom served the Roycrofters at Large Association (RALA), as President and as a juror for new artisans.

In his later years, Tom served on the Board of the East Aurora Educational Foundation. He took great pride in consideration of grants which would benefit the teachers and students of the East Aurora Schools.

He will be remembered fondly and missed greatly by all who were lucky enough to know him. Those interested in honoring his life are encouraged to make donations to the East Aurora Educational Foundation or to Nativity Lutheran Church in East Aurora.

There will be no prior visitation. Private services were held. A Celebration Of Life will be held at a later date to be announced.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Thomas Harris

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
James Trembath

September 1, 2020

Tom and I met in 1969 where he was my boss and took me under his wing to teach me a trade that lasted 33 years. Besides being a great teacher our families became good friends. We often had family get togethers and went on weekend camping trips. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Elaine their children and their families. He will be missed by many.

Coby Burt

September 1, 2020

VERY SORRY to have just learned of the passing of my friend Tom. I really enjoyed knowing him. I have many fond memories of working for him and Ben Little [as a finisher] for several years at The Schoolhouse Gallery. I still hear him calling, "shut down, we're heading for coffee" and off we'd go across the road to The Iron Kettle. Thanks,Tom, for being with us and we'll see you on the other side. God bless!!

Jeff and Terri Reynolds

August 31, 2020

We are keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers. We have such fun memories of the time we spent as neighbors. We will never forget Tom’s laughter. We hope your cherished memories will help you through this time. Love and hugs to all.

Patricia Concannon

August 30, 2020

Elaine, I was so sorry to hear of Tom's passing. He was such a nice man and so friendly. I will never forget when we were looking to buy our house and Paul took us to see your beautiful house. You were both so kind and welcoming even not knowing us. He was such a tallented man and will be missed by his family and his friends and acquaintences.
Pat and Mike Concannon
August 30, 2020

Don & Jean McIntee

August 30, 2020

Elaine & Family,
So sad to learn of Tom's passing. He was a great Faun lake Neighbour and good friend. He will be missed by all.
Don & Jean

Russ & Elaine Steffanhagen

August 29, 2020

Little did we know when we bought our site at Faun Lake, that we would meet this special couple, Tom and Elaine Harris. It didn’t take long for us to become great friends. We will always remember his smile and laugh. He was eager to share his love of furniture, plants, sports and westerns. We miss you already. Rest In Peace friend and if you have time give the Sabres and the Bills a push.

Barbara Kaczmarek

August 29, 2020

We were so saddened to hear about Tom. He was such a good man, so kind and certainly so skilled with the beautiful furniture that he made. There are so many people and places that will have a part of Tom forever.
We always looked forward to seeing him at The Schoolhouse Gallery and The Roycroft Shows....and yes, always that wonderful infectious laugh.
We helped him move out of the workshop behind Charlie's and into the schoolhouse that he had purchased. Such excitement and happiness that day as he was to begin a new chapter. Good memories there.
We send our heartfelt sympathy to you, Elaine, and your lovely family. You will remain in our prayers and close in our thoughts.
With Love,
Edwin, Barbara Kaczmarek and Chad Weiss

Mary Ellen Carpenter

August 29, 2020

Many fond childhood memories of Tommy . We lived across the street from each other on Millicent Ave. our parents were friends....so there were many outings. I am saddened to learn of his passing........my prayers are with his family and loved ones. May the good Lord hold you close ♥️🙏🙏

David Hodan

August 28, 2020

From the time Tom and Elaine bought our lot at Faun Lake, we have enjoyed Tom’s company, humor and friendship! We will always remember our Friday dinners and casual get togethers! Our deepest sympathy to Elaine and family! Our love, thoughts and prayers, Dave and Carolyn

Ed Weiss

August 28, 2020

Words seen inadequate to express my sadness over Thomas. We all wished Thomas had more growth rings on his strong oak tree. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your loved one....,.,.

Ed Weiss

FROM THE FAMILY

Learn more about the Harris name

VISIT ANCESTRY.COM