Harry William Fleming
Harry Fleming … Husband, Father and Parkinson’s Fight Club Leader, Dies age 74
Harry William Fleming passed away at home January 6, 2021 with his high school sweetheart and loving wife Carol by his side. Harry had heart failure, a result of an existing condition, compromised by Parkinson’s and COVID.
Harry was born on November 7, 1946 to Joseph G. Fleming and Mildred Miller Fleming. An only child, he used to joke… as he was so perfect, there was no need for more siblings.
He grew up in the small upstate New York farm town of Poestenkill, attending Averill Park High School. It was there Harry and Carol became high school sweethearts, and he went on to marry the girl who lived two doors down.
Harry graduated from Monmouth College and Paul Smith’s College. Paul Smith’s College was one of the biggest influences on his life, and where some of the deepest, lifelong friendships began…born out of the esteemed brotherhood of the Tau Kappa Beta fraternity…Harry was known as “The Blade”.
Around this time, he met the second love of his life…a 1969 Plymouth Fury III brown convertible. Anyone who knew Harry knew he loved this car, was the proud original owner and took pristine care of this gorgeous piece of machinery.
Harry was passionate about History and was a History Teacher for a time. His students loved him, and we recently uncovered a letter signed by his entire class thanking him for being the best teacher ever, how much fun they had, and how much they learned.
Harry went on to be a highly successful executive working for companies including Bank of America, and Rochester Corp as the District Sales Manager for the wire rope and undersea exploration division which kept him traveling all along the east coast of the US and Canada.
He was also a very successful entrepreneur, building Flanders Screen Print together with Carol…a thriving business that was key in the community of Clifton Park, providing personalized sportswear to area schools and clubs…or anyone else fortunate enough to have a coveted Flanders Screen Print T-shirt.
Somehow Harry also found time to become an experienced runner, more than 5-10 miles a day, something he didn’t start until his 40s. Many have attempted to join him on these runs…most failing to keep up.
He and Carol also shared a life-long love for golfing, a passion they enjoyed with their close-knit group of friends spanning decades. They traveled to many world-famous courses and ultimately built their dream house on a golf course in upstate New York. But Harry’s favorite hole was the 19th…beers with good friends, often on their back porch overlooking the green.
Upon retirement to The Villages, Harry and Carol continued to golf several times a week with friends and groups.
Harry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2013. He took the illness straight-on…never letting it hinder or define him, determined to fight its progression. A fight he won.
Harry went on to be a pivotal leader and inspiration in The Villages Parkinson’s community. Spearheading activities to combat the illness … he led groups in the exercise required to slow the effects of the disease. He introduced golf as another method to fight off the effects of Parkinson’s. Harry looked forward to these sessions, events, and trips not only for the exercise, but to socialize with others who can relate.
His perseverance and determination were respected and admired by his Parkinson Group peers, by his family, and by his friends.
Harry traveled extensively throughout the world with Carol, had a love for musicals, an afternoon beer, and the plain donut… there wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix in the house (with enough swearing) and was truly, fully and utterly dedicated to his family.
Harry and Carol were high school sweethearts married for more than 52 years…. together they went through countless house moves, career changes, health challenges and more…all while raising two exemplary children. What is most inspiring is Harry and Carol not only loved each other… they really liked each other. They enjoyed one another’s company and wanted to do things together. A love affair for all to admire.
Harry will be remembered for so many things…but one of his finest was his deep and authentic laugh that resonated through any room…and your heart. The only thing more powerful than the sound of his laugh…was his sneeze.
Harry is survived by his wife Carol, two adoring kids Joe and Cari, and 6 loving grandchildren Ryan, Heather, Ashley, Connor, Lily and Laura. And by a fantastic group of friends
In memory of Harry please do raise a beer for him, and he would have appreciated any donation in his honor to: https://www.michaeljfox.org/donate
To see more of Harry and his life, leave a message of condolence or to share a memory, please visit: www.celebratingharryfleming.com.