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Hewlett Bay Park native Joan Harris, 62

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Those that knew Hewlett Bay Park native Joan Harris will remember her as a caring mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend. 

Harris died in her Nyack, NY home on April 22. She was 62.

Born to Sheldon and Francine Friedman on May 21, 1958, Harris grew up in Hewlett Bay Park and graduated from Hewlett High School in 1976. After high school, Harris began chasing her dreams of helping others by studying psychology at Kenyon College in Ohio and obtaining her masters in social work from New York University Graduate School.

She was an accomplished social worker, and spent many years as the student assistance counselor at Pearl River High School in Rockland County and also went on to teach graduate students at her alma mater, NYU.

Harris’ mission was to live an exuberant and adventurous life full of music (the Foo Fighters were her favorite band), travel, passion, family and friends, her family said. She married Bruce Harris, and they raised two daughters together, Samantha and Alexandra. She was a nurturing grandmother to Braylen and Kai, who loved their “ninya” dearly.

Joan was an everyday rock star, and her friends and family will remember her as a force to be reckoned with, family members said. She was also an advocate for human rights and was passionate about integrity and equality.

Harris is survived by her parents Sheldon and Francine, brother David Friedman, children Sam and AJ, son-in-law Ben, grandchildren Braylen and Kai, childhood best friends Debra Falk and Alice Bye, and many loved ones from New York to Norway.

“Our family appreciates the love, thoughts and prayers,” David Friedman said. “We are heartbroken, but know that Joan passed peacefully at home.”