Edward A. Harris, Jr. … A Remembrance, Make Mine a Double

Ed Harris with Governor Martin O'Malley in 2007.

Ed Harris with Governor Martin O’Malley in 2007.

In this accelerated world of social media, cyberspace and a less personal space where we live, it appears that when we lose someone close to our foodservice world, perhaps that news and moment for reflection gets lost in the Tweets, Instagrams and emails. The obituaries are the most real parts of the disappearing newspaper and even the color photos add a bit of glitz to a more somber revelation. Let me take an extra moment of your time to talk about Ed Harris.

Edward A. Harris Jr. left us on July 10 to join his beloved wife Marcia Silk Harris. He was the father of Mary Heather Tepe of Columbia, Md., Larry Harris of Darnestown, Md., Suzanne Harris of Columbia, Md. and Lisa Dean of Columbia, Md.; grandfather of seven grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to Gilchrist Hospice Care, 5537 Twin Knolls Rd, Ste 433, Columbia, MD 21045.

If you have been a reader or follower of Foodservice Monthly over the years, you know how much Ed and Marcia (who left us way too early in 2007 after more than 20 years as president of the Restaurant Association of Maryland – RAM) meant to us/me … both personally and professionally.

While I have served on the board of the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation, Ed was always one of my biggest supporters … I could always feel him in my corner. We became Facebook friends and he gave me many moments of joy, reflection and thought over the last few years.

I have included on the website a picture I took of Ed with Governor Martin O’Malley at the celebration of life for Marcia in 2007.

Ed Harris

Ed Harris

I also included a foto when Ed Harris and the family unveiled the Marcia Harris portrait that now has a permanent home at the Columbia RAM headquarters. A wonderful turnout all joined in the celebration with members and staff of the Association. During the sad times in September/October 2007, I got to know their daughter Heather Tepe … and it has been great to follow the family through her Facebook friendship.

Marcia and Ed Harris had a special place in their hearts for the Education Foundation and it was Ed who announced after Marcia left us that the family was giving the Foundation a check for $5,000 to use toward the scholarship fund. He was our family connection to that scholarship and sat in on the early meetings where the winners were selected.

I will always remember Ed for his bold, spirited joie de vivre that he carried on so lovingly after Marcia. It made me proud as Ed read from words at the portrait dedication that I wrote when Foodservice Monthly (again another foto) gave Marcia our first Foodservice Professional of the Year award in January 2007.

I’ll never forget the March 2007 email she sent out to her friends … one of those inspirational ones that someone had forwarded her. I was always happy to be on her list of friends. It ended with, “To those I have sent this to … I cherish our friendship and appreciate all you do. Life may not be the party we hoped for … but while we are here we might as well dance!”

I am proud to have been a friend of Ed Harris with his loving wife Marcia.

Marcia sure could dance … and now it’s as it should be … Marcia and Ed dancing together.

I Think of Joan Hisaoka Every Day

An Evening to Remember

Sixth Annual Joan Hisaoka “Make a Difference” Gala
Saturday, September 21, The Omni Shoreham Washington

Information: Vivian Thompson-Goldstein:

To have known Joan Hisaoka was one of the most beautiful and meaningful professional and personal parts of my life. Joan Hisaoka was a woman who was 48 years old when she lost her battle with cancer on May 14, 2008. Not only did she run a five-star public relations firm in Washington, but she became the inspiration and creative genius behind the scenes of the RAMMYS creating its own local brand that does not need any reference to the Oscars to explain its value to “our” community. The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s honored her in 2008 by naming the Associate Member of the Year Award in her honor. I cannot be prouder to say Foodservice Monthly was the first recipient.

During her lifetime, Joan received numerous awards for both her community involvement and her work as the founder of Hisaoka Public Relations, which represented many top metro-area hospitality, tourism and retail clients.

Through her experiences at cancer-related retreats and programs across the country, Joan learned the immense healing power of emotional, psychological and spiritual support, and sought to extend that support to others.

This Gala was created to honor Joan and her dream of assisting those living with cancer. With the proceeds raised (certainly it will surpass $5 million this year), the foundation established by her brother Robert will continue her unfinished work by supporting organizations that bring hope and healing to those faced with serious illness. Her husband Marvin Rosskopf tirelessly works as liaison with the restaurant community collecting donations that drive many of the auction items. For more details and ways to give go to

About the Author

Michael Birchenall is Editor and Publisher of Foodservice Monthly, a regional trade publication covering the foodservice industry of the Mid-Atlantic (DE, DC, MD, VA). Foodservice Monthly has been recognized as the Restaurant Association of Maryland's Allied Industry Member of the Year and by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington as the Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year.

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