Hurricane Sandy Caused Death of Retired Glen Rock Teacher, Report Says

Former Glen Rock High School teacher Benjamin W. Harris was killed when he fell down the stairs of his power-less apartment; his death marks the second known storm fatality with strong connections to Glen Rock.

A retired Glen Rock teacher living alone in Hawthorne died as a result of Superstorm Sandy, according to a report in the Hawthorne Gazette.

Hawthorne police believe Benjamin W. Harris, 83, died after falling down the stairs of the power-less Rock Road Garden apartments on Nov. 2, the newspaper reported. His body was discovered two days later by a neighbor.

Harris taught Spanish and drama for 41 years at Glen Rock High School before retiring in 1994, according to his obituary. Glen Rock School Board President Rona McNabola told Patch he remained active in the Panther community well after retirement, teaching several courses at the Community School.

Harris is the second person residing in Hawthorne to have died as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and both victims had strong ties to Glen Rock.

Fletcher Fish, 77, died when a tree crashed into his Kingston Avenue home on Oct. 29. He was the chairman of the board of Glen Rock Savings Bank.

A member of the Association of American Indians, Harris was described in his obituary as being a "humanitarian" who loved singing. 

His funeral was held in his native Toms River on Saturday. Harris leaves behind a sister and two nieces.

Keith McElwee November 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Thoughts & Prayers!
Mary Beth Minichino Thompson November 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM
One of my favorite teachers at GRHS. Rest in peace Señor.
Andre Avaregan November 22, 2012 at 06:26 AM
Gods Speed Mr Harris. You will be missed
Carolyn Serebreny November 22, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Mr. Harris, thank you for your kind and calm demeanor, and for your interesting stories about your visits to Peru. Muchas gracias ahora y siempre, Pepita.
Connie Fotakis November 29, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Mr. Harris was a superb teacher. He passed along the joy of learning and the excitement of entering into the new world which was opened by studying a foreign language. As a graphic designer, I've had the opportunity to publish works in Spanish many times. So, Mr. Harris' teaching was put into extensive practical use. Despite graduating 42 years ago, I can still understand most conversational Spanish. That's how excellent Mr. Harris was, as a teacher! My daughter speaks fluent Spanish. My future grandchildren, will likely learn to speak Spanish first, and then English. They will be completely bilingual. I am so grateful for all Mr. Harris did... for all of us. The world is better for all of his caring and professional efforts.


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