Sunday, March 16, 2003

Obituary: Elihu Harris, retired advertising executive

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MASON - Former advertising executive Elihu Harris died March 8 at his residence at Cedar Village Retirement Home. He was 94.

Although his career took him far away from his roots, he returned home in retirement to lead an active life and help others.

"Everybody who met him felt he had such a zest for life," said his daughter, Laura Harris of Avon, Conn. "He just had such enthusiasm for life, read three newspapers a day, was a devoted husband and a very likeable person."

Born in 1908 to Sampson B. and Sadie Levy Harris in Cincinnati, he grew up in Lawrenceburg. He attended the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College in the late 1920s. In 1934, he married Joan Schaen of Cincinnati.

Mr. Harris worked for several local companies, including U.S. Shoe Corp. He moved to Washington, D.C., during World War II to work as director of advertising and public relations for war bonds at the Department of the Treasury.

In the early 1950s, he moved to New York to work for Screen Gems. It was his job to promote TV shows such as Father Knows Best and Lassie to potential sponsors.

In the mid-1950s to early 1960s, he ran his own advertising agency, Donall and Harman. He also worked for WNET New York, a public TV station.

After his retirement in 1976, he and his wife traveled abroad, including to Israel and England. They often spent time helping others, including assisting Ethiopian Jews to relocate from their famine-stricken birthplace to settle in Israel in the 1980s.

He was active in the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), Rockdale Temple, and was former president of the Cedar Village Tenants Association.

In 2001, he was honored by Rockdale Temple with the third annual Albert Rindsberg Octo-Nonagenarian award.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 69 years, Joan; two sisters, Adeline Harris of Mason and Leona Harris of New York; another daughter, Martha Zielonka of Gastonia, N.C.; eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Services have been held. Interment was in the United Jewish Cemetery in Montgomery.

Memorials: Rockdale Temple, 8501 Ridge Road, Cincinnati 45236; or Cedar Village, 5467 Cedar Village Drive, Mason 45040.


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