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Robert C​. Harris, 90, Summer Camp Owner and Director

December 31, 2009
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Robert Charles Harris, 90, founder and original director of Blue Bell Camp, died Dec. 13. He was a resident of Blue Bell.

Harris grew up in Philadelphia and attended the original Oak Lane Country Day School when it was still located in Oak Lane (Philadelphia).

He went on to graduate from Olney High School.

A 1941 graduate of Temple University, he was president of his senior class and captain of the tennis team.

During World War II, he was as a gunnery instructor in the Navy.

He married Edna Greenfield in 1943; they moved to Blue Bell.

In the summer of 1946, Harris and Edna started Blue Bell Camp on their property. In 1958, they started a second camp a mile down the road. Ever since, Blue Bell Camp has been one of the area's primary summer day camps for children ages 6 to 11. The couple wanted to teach a multitude of sports and activities with a focus on instruction, rather than competition.

In 1978, the couple turned their camps over to their sons, John Harris and Tom Harris.

Today, the camp is now in its 65th year, and is being operated by Tom, his wife Joyce and their two daughters.

When Robert Harris retired from his day-to-day camp responsibilities, he had more time to pursue his passion for tennis. As such, he became a more active member of the Professional Tennis Registry and the USPTA.

In addition to his two sons, Harris is survived by a brother, George Harris, and four granddaughters. His wife Edna passed away on Feb. 5, 2004.

Memorial donations can be made to the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center by calling 215-487-3477 (www.ashetennis.org).

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