James R. Harris, MD
His loving and steadfast family memorialized Dr. Harris’s passing with a 10-year celebration of his life this summer, a decade after he lost his battle in 2004 with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the baseball legend who died from the illness). He was 79 years old. Dr. Harris passed away surrounded by his family in his Swarthmore, PA home, and in the loving and devoted hands of hospice care.
He was an accomplished psychiatrist and tireless advocate for the mentally ill and veterans. He brought humanity to the Veterans Administration in Pennsylvania where he worked for many years. He was one of the pioneers of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and a champion of Vietnam combat veterans. When he ran the Norristown State Hospital in Pennsylvania he was instrumental in developing an innovative in-patient forensic unit for juveniles, among other notable triumphs.
Dr. Harris was an open-minded student of life, an artist, and a lover of music, history, and philosophy—Jean-Paul Sartre, in particular. He was also known to be mischievous and loved a good joke. His legacy of care, professionalism, and community involvement lives on through his eight children and his wife of many years, Peggy Harris.
NAMI Pasco grieves the loss of Will Konomos, who passed away in mid July 2014 at age 56. A resident of Pasco County, FL. until recently, Will was one of the warriors, serving as a member of the NAMI Pasco Board of Directors and a valiant advocate for mental health awareness. He lived heroically with bipolar disorder, sharing his life experiences and supporting others as an outstanding NAMI Pasco Connection facilitator, for which he trained in March 2010. Will impacted people in positive ways, not only leading support groups, but educating local law enforcement about mental illness Will is survived by his loving parents and his devoted children, Michael and John Konomos and family, as well as grandchildren and brother Dean Konomos and family. Rest in peace, Will, “You fought to the end and never gave up.”
In lieu of flowers the Konomos family asks that donations be made to NAMI Pasco:
P.O. Box 412
Elfers, FL 34680-0412
October 22, 1940 – July 16,
Nancy J. (Maney) Vanderhei, 73, of Land O’ Lakes, FL, passed away Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Nancy was born in Waukesha, WI, and moved to Florida in 1996. She was a retired caregiver who loved spending her extra time gardening. Nancy was also an advocate and voice for the rights and proper care for folks with mental illnesses.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Bernard R. Maney and Florence Rose Maney; son, Vincent; and two brothers, Fritz and Hank. She is survived by her three sons, Robert and his wife, Terri; Greg and his wife, Kristin; and Mark; two daughters, Julie Campbell, and her husband, Kenny Wojtowicz, and Fran Dowd and her husband, Jason Dowd; two sisters, Betty Ann Peterson and Joyce King; five grandchildren, Jon and his wife, Ashley Campbell; Nick and his wife, Debbie Campbell; Britni Campbell; Crystal Vanderhei; and Robert Vanderhei Jr.; six great-grandchildren, Lily, Camyrn, Addison, Owen, Colton, and Van; and nephews, nieces, and friends. Donations in Nancy’s memory may be made to NAMI/Pasco:
NAMI Pasco County
In memory of Nancy J. Vanderhei
P.O. Box 412
Elfers, FL 34680-0412
Daniel “Dan” Michael Mezzanini
Dan Mezzanini, 39, passed away on May 7, 2014. Dan was born in Syracuse, NY and graduated from East-Syracuse Minoa High School and Syracuse University, earning two Bachelors Degrees with a dual major; one in marketing, the second in logistics. Later he continued his academic career at Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, FL, where he earned an MBA.
Dan had a varied work career. He was employed by Carrier Corporation, AgwayEnergy, General Electric and, lastly, at Saint Leo University as a financial analyst and media buyer. His passions were mostly mechanical. He could fix most things, including his car, electrical items, plumbing, and his 1968 Chevy ice cream truck given to him by his grandfather. Dan’s first job was refurbishing the 22-year-old truck and starting an ice cream peddling business at age 16. He represented the fourth and last generation of the Mezzanini ice cream vending business. This entrepreneurial endeavor helped him pay for his college education.
Dan was a kind, gentle, generous, loving, compassionate, and hardworking person and will be missed by many, especially his immediate family, Frank and Phyllis (Zizzi) Mezzanini, his parents, who live in Wesley Chapel near Dan’s home in Zephyr Hills; his brother Paul and sister-in-law Robin, of Webster, NY with their children Benjamin, Eleanor, and Robert James. Dan leaves his maternal grandmother, Michelina Zizzi, of Utica, NY, the last of Dan’s grandparents. His Aunt Elizabeth Dow and her husband Raymond, who reside in Syracuse, NY with their two children, Anne and Marie Dow. His aunt Julie Beckett of Niagara Falls, NY. Julie has two living children, Dale Beckett of Ilion, NY, and Tina Beckett of Utica, NY. Dan also leaves behind his uncle, Joseph Mezzanini, Jr. also of Utica. Dan will be resting in peace with his grandfathers, Vito Zizzi and Joseph Mezzanini Sr., his grandmother Helen (Zuchowski) Mezzanini, and his cousin Dawn Beckett.
A mass to celebrate Dan’s life and final peace, was officiated by Father James Cesta at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church/Blessed Sacrament Church in Utica on May 23, 2014. A memorial mass will was held at the Saint Leo Benedictine Abbey located next to Saint Leo University in St. Leo, FL on May 30, 2014.
In lieu of flowers, all monetary gifts received will be donated in Dan’s name to the Pasco County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness; or preferably, checks may be sent directly to the local chapter at NAMI Pasco, P.O. Box 412, Elfers, FL 34680.