Janet Harris

Janet R. Harris (Reust)

Saturday, April 14th, 1934 - Thursday, February 6th, 2020
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Janet Reust Harris, of Marietta, NY died Thursday February 6, 2020 after a long illness. Janet was born in Syracuse in 1934, daughter of Jacob Reust and Dora Louise Cole and grew up in Marcellus, NY. She graduated from Marcellus High School and attended Erie Community College, majoring in dental hygiene, and earning an Associate’s degree. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SUNY Cortland. Janet worked as a public health dental hygienist in the Ithaca/Candor area initially, and then accepted a position at the then-newly created Onondaga Community College as an Assistant Professor on July 9, 1962. Janet was asked to chair the new Dental Hygiene Department, a position in which she served for many years. She created the curriculum, hired faculty and supervising dentists, secured housing for out-of-town students and achieved national accreditation for the program. She designed community-based learning experiences for her students at area hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and schools. In 1965, Janet became the Dean of Women, later being promoted to Associate and then Full Professor. She added an additional A.S. degree program in dental hygiene. Under her leadership, the department grew and recruited students from both the U.S. and Canada and achieved national recognition through her work in collaboration with the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. She mentored hundreds of students and maintained close ties with many throughout her life. After her retirement from OCC in 1989, Janet worked with SUNY Cortland’s Health Department, serving as field work supervisor for public health undergraduate students for three years. In retirement, she travelled to England, Scotland, the Holy Land, Scandinavia and her beloved Switzerland, where she had distant relatives. She had a large group of friends and extended family with whom she spent a great deal of time. An avid animal lover, Janet was known for her fondness for all animals. Her pets and her students were her “children,” and she loved and taught so many. She was also a rabid Syracuse University basketball fan, scheduling her activities around game times. She married Platt J. Harris on May 31, 1969. Platt and Janet were communicants of St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneateles and served on various boards and the vestry there. Janet and Platt enjoyed active membership in the Skaneateles Country Club for many years. Platt predeceased her in 1995.
Surviving is her first cousin, Robert Ramsden (Joan) also of Marietta, Ardyce Lake of Rochester and numerous other second and third cousins, among them Rebecca Mortlock (Jeffrey) of Skaneateles, Allison Hourigan (David) of Navarino, Robert Ramsden of Colorado Springs, John Ramsden (Jana) of Chandler, AZ.
Calling hours are Tuesday February 11th at 11 a.m. to 12 noon at Plis Funeral Home, 33 North St., Marcellus. Services following at 1 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneateles.
Contributions may be made to the SPCA, Molloy Rd., Mattydale, or to St. James Episcopal Church, Skaneateles.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 | 11:00am - 12:00pm
    Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm
    Plis Funeral Home, Inc Marcellus
    33 North Street
    Marcellus, New York 13108
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 1:00pm
    St. James Episcopal Church
    96 E. Genesee Street
    Skaneateles, NY 13152
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Becky Coerper


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Lynn, Nancy and family, Love, Lisa and Alan Johnson and Family., and other have sent flowers to the family of Janet R. Harris (Reust).
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Mary Lang

Posted at 04:52pm
On behalf of the Dental Hygiene Association of New York State, our sincere condolences to your family. Janet was a highly regarded colleague. Her professional commitment and many years of service to the oral health care of our community are deeply appreciated.

Linda Runge

Posted at 08:39pm
I just wanted to express my condolences to the family. I am a former student, class of 75. She was always so encouraging and such a mentor. I am deeply sorry for your loss. Linda Runge

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 12:08pm
Our warmest condolences,
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Lynn, Nancy and family

Posted at 10:34am
With loving memories of "Janet Harris",
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Love, Lisa and Alan Johnson and Family.

Posted at 07:56pm
With love and fond memories
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