Donald Kent Harris, 87, passed away Sunday, July 21, 2013, in St. George, Utah, from complications stemming from Alzheimer's disease. He was surrounded by his loving wife of 66 years, his five children and numerous grandchildren and great- grandchildren.
He was born September 27, 1925, to James Alma and Rachel Leonia Butt Harris in Sugar City, Idaho, where he spent his youth and graduated from Sugar City High School before enlisting in the Navy. He served as a Navy corpsman assigned to the Marines during the invasion of Japan and occupation of China.
Upon his return, Don enrolled at Ricks College, where he soon met and married Janeen Wasden in the LDS Idaho Falls Temple on December 20, 1946. They resided in Salt Lake City, where Don graduated with honors from the University of Utah. Soon after, they made their home in Idaho Falls and Shelley, where Don worked for Westinghouse at the National Reactor Testing Site.
In 1967, Don and Janeen, along with her brother, Barry Wasden and his wife, Joyce, embarked on a new adventure with the Hallmark Card and Gift business. The Harris family moved to Newport Beach, California, where they opened the first of what became a large chain of stores, eventually spanning to several western states.
Retirement years were spent living in Virgin and later Washington, Utah, where Don was known for his ambition, energy and diligence. He was ever busy with numerous projects and hobbies, including writing several historical and fictional novels.
He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many teaching and leadership positions, including the bishopric. He had a beautiful tenor singing voice and performed in numerous church and civic functions, including lead roles in a number of plays and productions throughout the years. He sang with many choirs including the Bluth Choral (Las Vegas) and Heritage Choir (St. George). He loved to travel and he and Janeen saw much of the world together, including serving an LDS mission to Nauvoo, Illinois.
Don is survived by his wife, Janeen; two daughters, Peggy (James Kay) Duncan and Judy (Randy) Gelter, both of Washington, Utah; three sons, Stephen (Laurie) of Washington, Utah, Randy (Ann) of Arroyo Grande, California, and Richard (Karen) of Las Vegas; 30 grandchildren; and 81 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, five siblings and three great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at Silverstone LDS Ward Chapel, 1080 W. Arlington St. in Washington, Utah. Visitations will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd. in St. George, Utah, and from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday prior to services at the chapel. Interment will follow in Washington City Cemetery. Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary of St. George, Utah.
For condolences, full obituary and service listings, please visit www .metcalfmortuary.com.