Roger W Harris, 74, of Great Falls, retired supervisor of Great Falls Parks and Recreation, died of natural causes Sunday, Nov. 4, at Peace Hospice.
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Visitation is 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today at Croxford Funeral Home. His funeral is 2 p.m. Thursday at Croxford Funeral Home, with burial in Cotton Wood Cemetery in Stockett, followed by a 4 p.m. celebration of life reception and dinner at the VFW, 4123 10th Ave S.
Survivors include sons Brett (Linda) Harris of Great Falls and George Harris of Seattle; daughters Cathy Geary of Post Falls, Idaho, and Lisa (David) Powell of Coeur D'Alene, Idaho; special friend Margaret Dresel; 13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Roger was preceded in death by first wife and lifelong best friend, JoAnne Harris Shirley; twin brother Russell Harris; sister Lois Kjelsrud; and both parents Sam and Catherine (Mundt) Harris .
Roger was born April 23, 1938, in Great Falls and attended Great Falls and Polson High School. Roger spent eight years with the Montana Air National Guard, 120th Fighter Interceptor, as a staff sergeant. He spent the majority (30 years) of his working life with Great Falls Park and Recreation Department, where he retired as park supervisor.
Dad married JoAnne Dresel in 1957, and they divorced in 1971. Dad married Launa Hunt, and they later divorced. Next, and the best move ever, was Dad reunited with his first love, JoAnne, and they were the best of friends and companions until JoAnn's passing in 2003.
Roger spent a lot of time in later years with his grandson and best friend, Cody Harris, who to Grandpa was named "Huck," from Huckleberry Finn. We don't remember Cody being called anything but "Huck" for all of these years. Roger also spent much of his later years with his twin brother, Russell until Russ' passing in 2009. Dad was never quite the same after Russell's death.
Roger was very proud of the time he spent as a relief policeman for the City of Great Falls when the normal police went on strike and afterward spent a number of years as a "bounty hunter." He was also very proud of the time he spent taking care of Great Falls trees and parks and had a hand in the development of several of today's parks. Roger loved fishing, panning for gold, hanging out with his son and family and riding his motorcycle and spent a lot of time camping in the Sun River Game area.
Dad was always the number one cheerleader for his children and was especially close (best friends) with his son Brett.
Condolences may be posted online at www.croxfordfuneralhome.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries.
Published in Great Falls Tribune from Nov. 6 to Nov. 7, 2012