Dale Harris

Obituary
6 entries
  • "May the memories of the wonderful times you shared with..."
  • "Dear Sandy, So sorry to hear you lost such a wonderful man..."
    - Kathryn Stoner
  • "Dear Sandy and your family, Dale was great person and such..."
  • "I'm very sorry to hear about the passing of Dale. I worked..."
    - Carol Hensley
  • "Dale was a great manager and wonderful person."
    - Bruce Milam
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HARRIS, DR. DALE WESLEY, age 76, passed away suddenly in his home on April 25, 2013 after suffering a heart attack. Dale was born on September 19, 1936 in Hannibal, Missouri, to Clay Crittendon Harris, Jr. and Virginia Lucille Lewis Harris. His father passed away in 1970. His younger brother, Michael Lewis Harris was born in 1942 and still resides in their home town of Hannibal, MO. Dale and his brother were raised by their maternal grandparents, Noreen and Clare G. Lewis. In 1958, Dale graduated from the University of Missouri, School of Mines and Metallurgy at Rolla (currently known as the Missouri University of Science and Technology) with a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering, and then earned a Master of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering in 1959. He went on to earn his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1971. Dr. Harris began his career as an engineer in 1959 at General Electric in Ohio. He moved to Baltimore where he worked for the Martin Company from 1961-1963, after which he accepted a position working for NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. While working at NASA, Dr. Harris held several different positions. He began his service at Goddard as a senior engineer in the Electrical Power Systems Group. In 1972 Dr. Harris was promoted to the Head of the Power Systems Design Section. He became Head of the Space Power Technology Branch in 1976. From 1979 to 1980 Dr. Harris served as the Product Manager for the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE). In 1980, he transferred to the Flight Projects Directorate as Deputy Project Manager for the Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO). In 1984, he became the Project Director for the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS). While serving in this capacity, he oversaw the successful launches of two TDRSS satellites, which completed the TDRSS Network that is still in operation today. For his role in completion of the TDRSS spacecraft network, he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, which is NASA's highest award. In 1989, he became Deputy Director of Flight Projects. He then transferred to the Mission Operations and Data Systems Directorate (MO&DSD) to become the Deputy Director for Institutional Programs in 1992. In 1994, he became the Deputy Director for Earth Science and Data Information Systems (EOS DIS) at MO&DSD. He remained at NASA in that capacity until his retirement in 1997. Dr. Harris joined SGT, Inc in Greenbelt, Maryland, in 1997. He was the first Vice President for Technical Programs at SGT. In that capacity, Dr. Harris and his team were responsible for technical projects which included the Consolidated Network and Mission Operations (CNMOS), Code 500 Research and Development, Landsat 7 Ground Systems Development, EO-1 Data Management Plan, Earth Sciences Data Information Systems, MODIS Instrument Back-up Data System, and the Consolidated Space Operations Contract. Dr. Harris' team supported the former GSFC Code 600 Space Sciences Directorate for the coordination of Leonids Meteor Shower events with space and earth sciences missions as well as the Space Shuttle and Space Station programs. Dr. Harris' team was also involved in the development of educational websites for the GSFC Earth Sciences Directorate and NASA HQ. The development of SGT performance plans, performance evaluations, and employee training was also done under Dr. Harris' watch. In 1999 Dr. Harris was an independent aerospace consultant. In 2000 he served as Program Manager for Praxis conducting the Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Helios Spirit Investigation. In 2003 he provided contract support for a large program for Swales In Beltsville, Maryland. Dr. Harris rejoined SGT in early 2007 as a Director in the company's new Mechanical Systems Engineering contract, becoming the Mission Systems Engineering Manager. In this role, he lead the technical efforts of dozens of personnel supporting major NASA missions, including the Mars Science Laboratory, the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier, the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, and various Earth Science programs. Dr. Harris played a major role in overseeing SGT's efforts toward the build, integration, and test of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment, a critical soil and atmospheric analysis component to the Mars Science Lab, currently operating on the Martian surface. Dr. Harris was actively employed with SGT at the time of his death. Dale enjoyed reading, watching TV, playing high-stakes Poker, collecting stamps and coins, visiting casinos, socializing and traveling. He and Sandra also owned and fostered several dogs as they are heavily involved in a nationwide small dog rescue. Dale is survived by his wife, Sandra Harris and their children, Steve Harris and his partner Lisa, Robin Oliver and her husband Keith, Tracey Richards and her husband Robert, Matt Harris and his wife Kathi and Jeanne Nelson. He also leaves behind his grandchildren, Nikki and Carley Richards, Gabi and Mikey Harris, and Julia Nelson; his brother, Mike Harris; and his mother-in-law, Florence Brookman. He is predeceased by his parents, Clay Jr. and Virginia Harris; his grandparents, Clay Sr. and Carrie Harris and Clare G. and Noreen Lewis; and his father-in-law, Jimmy Brookman, Jr. Services for Dale will be held at Hardesty Funeral Home P.A. , 12 Ridgely Avenue, Annapolis, Maryland on Friday May 3, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. Visitation is from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dr. Dale W. Harris' name to the Missouri University of Science and Technology (www.mst.edu; e-mail: annualgiving@mst.edu) or to Shih Tzu and Furbaby Rescue (www.stfbr.org; e-mail: tzumom1@gmail.com). There is a special link on the home page in honor of Dr. Harris. Please visit the online guest book at Hardesty Funeral Home, www.hardestyfuneralhome.com.
Funeral Home
Hardesty Funeral Home, P.A.
12 Ridgely Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-263-2222
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Published in The Capital on Apr. 30, 2013
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