Resident of Alameda
James Bernard Harris, Jr., a beloved and devoted husband, father grandfather, died March 11 at his home in Alameda of natural causes. He was 71.
Known to his friends and family as Jim, he taught in the Berkeley Unified School District at Malcolm X and Jefferson Elementary schools for 35 years. He often spoke fondly of his students and loved to tell stories about their budding lives. He formed life-long friendships with both his students and their parents. Jim's infectious smile, jovial attitude, kind heartedness and sincerity endeared him to many of his students and colleagues.
Jim graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor's degree in History and a teaching credential. Later he earned an MA in Education from San Francisco State University.
Known for being a wonderful storyteller, Jim loved to share tales of his experiences. Friends and family enjoyed his storytelling because he was a master at making the most mundane an adventurous riot.
As a skilled wood worker Jim enjoyed many hours tinkering in his workshop and building furniture. He was especially proud that in addition to his teaching career, he was able to pursue his "hobby" as a licensed general contractor in his spare time.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Veronica; son Scott and daughter-in-law Jennifer of Denver, Colo.; his grandchildren Kaelyn and Aiden; and sister Ruth, brother-in-law Lyle and niece Sherry. He is also survived by various other family members.
At his request, there will be no memorial service. The family asks that you share your favorite story of "Mr. Harris" with a friend.
Published in Inside Bay Area on Mar. 17, 2013