Annie “Charlsie” Charles Smith Harris, 89, always on the lookout for a good cause

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Annie "Charlsie" Charles Smith Harris
Annie “Charlsie” Charles Smith Harris

Annie “Charlsie” Charles Smith Harris died Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Charlsie was born Jan. 9, 1928, to Cothran and Gladys Smith in Greensboro.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Susan; and her husband, Jim.

Surviving Charlsie are her children, Jim, (wife, Sarah, and children, Hannah and Ian), Cothran, (wife, Jane, and children, Ross and Caroline), Wade, (wife, Lynne, and children, Hampton, (wife, Amanda), and Terri), and Sam, (wife, Ellen, and children, Sydney and Lucius).

Jim Harris met Charlsie Smith in Wilmington when Jim’s brother married Charlsie’s best friend. It was love at first sight. They lived in Atlanta, Charlsie a student at Agnes Scott and Jim the service manager of Atlanta’s Pontiac dealership. After Charlsie graduated, they married and moved to Wilmington, when Jim was asked to run the local Buick dealership.

Charlsie loved the water, loved to sail, loved everything about the beach except cleaning fish. Charlsie also loved the arts. Her degree may have been in English, but her career turned out to be music. Charlsie played the organ at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and St. James Parish, where she was the music director for many years.

When she wasn’t playing the organ, she was teaching piano, volunteering at schools, or on the lookout for a good cause. Charlsie’s father was a Presbyterian minister and she raised her family in the Presbyterian church. As time went by, Charlsie realized her roots were at St. James Parish, where she had spent much of her adult life and she joined the Episcopal church. Charlsie loved St. James, traveling and trying new things, she attended conferences and seminars whenever she could. Her only bad experience was a monastic retreat when she took a vow of silence for a week.

The family will gather at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, 417 Stradleigh Road, to welcome well-wishers. After a private interment, a memorial service celebrating her life will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30, at St. James Parish, Wilmington.

Please address any memorials to the Music Fund at St. James Parish, 25 S. 3rd St., Wilmington, NC 28401.