SANTA ANA, CA/UTICA, NY – Kathleen (Salerno) McHarris, 84, passed away on February 21, 2023, surrounded by her loving family in Santa Ana, CA.
Kathleen McHarris was born in Utica, New York, in 1939 to parents Albert and Mary Salerno. She grew up on Utica’s east side, genuinely Italian neighborhood. She was raised in a traditional Italian-Catholic family with her older brother Albert Jr., grandparents, and extended family within a block of each other, with the neighborhood St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church just around the corner representing a major presence in her daily life. She attended Thomas R. Proctor High School and Utica College in the 1950s.
Kathleen met the love of her life, George in 1957 while they were both working at General Electric Corporation, Utica NY. They were married in 1959 and settled in East Windsor Connecticut both working for Pratt Whitney Aircraft Corporation for the next 5 years. In 1964, George and Kathleen, with their son Steven, relocated to Santa Ana, California with their 50’ x 10’ mobile home in tow from east to west coast. In that same year, their second son Robert was born, later moving to Tustin.
Kathleen’s greatest passion was being a mother to her two sons, raising them in the Catholic faith, inspiring them to excel in life, and being kind to others. As the boys grew up, she began work again in their new family furniture business partnering with close friends Alan and Dolly Sherman for 19 years. She later joined Design Center Associates and worked for 14 years, a job she enjoyed immensely and made life-long friends, even after her retirement in 2014.
Kathleen and George moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2014 to be near her brother and nieces family. She enjoyed her time there but missed her California home so much. They decided to return to Santa Ana in 2018 when she suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. On February 11, 2023, Kathleen received the sacrament of Extreme Unction at Christ Cathedral. She passed away peacefully in her own home with husband George by her side, just 8 weeks after her 84th birthday, on February 26, 2023.
Kathleen is survived by her husband, George; son Steven and daughter-in-law Patricia; son Robert and daughter-in-law Erin; Brother Albert Jr. and partner Marcella; Sister-in-law Nadine (McHarris) Baxter and Brother-in-law Frank Baxter; Aunt Wanda and Uncle Frank “Sal” Salerno; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by her parents Albert and Mary Salerno.
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