Cover photo for Elizabeth  Stone  Harris's Obituary
Elizabeth  Stone  Harris Profile Photo

Elizabeth Stone Harris

October 17, 1935 — November 30, 2021

Elizabeth Stone Harris

Elizabeth Stone Harris 

“How’s Mrs. Rogers?” a healthcare professional inquired some months ago after Elizabeth Harris. She went on to clarify, as if she’d needed to: that Elizabeth was so remarkable in what she gave of herself, in her attitude toward life. That she felt like half the person Elizabeth was. 

Like Mr. Rogers, Elizabeth was larger than life, but not because that’s how she saw or presented herself; because of her humility and her constant, quiet, personal love. Elizabeth walked into any building in town, and the stream would start: the people who knew her from her years of volunteering at the Margaret T. Morris Center. The people whom she had supported as a chaplain when their loved one died. And simply the hundreds of people with whom she crossed paths in everyday life, in a grocery store or a waiting room: wherever she went, she was drawn to those who were down, who were having a hard time, like a heat-seeking missile that discovered the need for love. And then she gave it. 

Elizabeth started her life of service early. She grew up in a bright, loving, intellectually stimulating household, with a father who was an inventor and musician; a faithful, astute, courageous mother; a dear brother with whom she would share a deep love and companionship throughout her life; and of course, a variety of dogs. As a young woman, she had already decided to direct the marvelous extent of her talent and intelligence to doing good in the world. After attending Northwestern University and then getting a graduate degree in learning disabilities at Webster University in St. Louis, she became a teacher for the deaf, a profession which she loved deeply and engaged in for over 18 years. In the evenings and over the summers, she served as an adjunct faculty member in the field, training others to serve well and passionately. 

Perhaps George Harris, an acclaimed photographer and intellectual, was drawn to Elizabeth’s deep and natural love for others, in addition to her beauty, energy, and obvious intelligence. But he fell for her almost immediately, and she for him, and thus began a lifetime of the kind of romance and connection that we only expect to read about in books. From the outside, it involved laughter, motorcycle rides, fly fishing, great conversations. The inside is shining, unspeakable, eternal. 

George and Elizabeth decided to retire in Prescott after reading about the city in a motorcycle magazine, and recognizing that it also fulfilled their quest for a good library, a college, and excellent health care. Of course, they bought the first active/passive solar house built by Yavapai College. Elizabeth’s mother moved into Samaritan Village Apartments nearby. And they continued their beautiful life together until George got ill. 

Elizabeth was a giver, a server, a lover of God before George passed, but said that nursing him, and finally losing him, forced her to turn to her faith even more to survive; and to recognize, even more, the enormous capacity for suffering in the world, the enormous need to give love. 

And Elizabeth continued to give, shining brighter and brighter, in her last decades: wholeheartedly serving as a YRMC Hospice Chaplain, a Unity Church chaplain and a Lay Minister; being part of numerous boards; winning a “Caring Heart” award from the Margaret T. Morris Center, and an “International Women of Distinction Award” from the Soroptomist Club for helping women reach their full potential. But most of all, just being that person for so many people— the person they could always call. The person they knew was praying for them. Elizabeth adopted people, took them into her heart, just like she adopted her final dog, a tiny rescue dog named Lily who went from nervous and alone to secure and deeply happy— blossoming, like the rest of us, in the light of Elizabeth’s constant love. 

After a long, beautiful journey, Elizabeth was finally reunited with George last week. Like Mr. Rogers, like any other rare soul who makes such an impact on so many people, her passing leaves a space in many lives. But simultaneously, the memory of a life lived so well, with so much love, fills each of those spaces with light. 

Elizabeth made her transition after a long illness on November 30, 2021, at the age of 86. She is survived by her beloved niece Susanna Stone and her intentional family, Lynn and Mark Leu. A celebration of her life is planned for Saturday, April 9 at 2:00 pm at Unity of Prescott. Please visit to sign Elizabeth’s guestbook and share a memory with the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth Stone Harris, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, April 9, 2022

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