Lawrence W. Harris Jr. (Larry)
July 23, 1911 - March 2, 2013
Lawrence W. Harris Jr. (Larry), prominent legislator, business man and civic leader in Boise between 1960 and 1986, died in Carmel, California on March 2, at the age of 101. Larry was born in San Francisco on July 23, 1911 and attended Galileo High School, where he was senior class president. He graduated from Stanford University in 1932. At Stanford, he majored in Economics, spent four years on the swim and water polo teams, and was the head yell leader in his senior year. After graduating from Stanford, Larry moved to Portland to join the family business, Ames Harris & Neville, a manufacturer of burlap and cotton bags. In the years before World War II
, Larry travelled all over the Northwest, selling bags to potato farmers in Rexburg and Idaho Falls, seed growers in Forest Grove, flour millers in Pendleton and hop growers in Amity. He served in the U.S. Army
in World War II in the Transportation Corps. In 1939, he married the former Jane Beebe in Portland. They were active climbers and hikers and spent, with their family, much time on the north side of Mount Hood.
In 1955, Larry and his family moved to San Francisco when he became the Executive Vice President of Ames Harris & Neville. The business was sold to Boise Cascade in 1958. While in San Francisco he served as a director of the Yosemite Park & Curry Company, as a Governor of Stanford University Associates and as board member of Stanford University Alumni Association.
Larry spent the remainder of his business career in Boise for Boise Cascade as Trade Relations Director, Stockholder Relations Director and retired as Corporate Secretary in 1971. He then worked for the College of Idaho as Associate Director of the Snake River Regional Studies Center where he helped initiate student internships in business, local government and other opportunities. In 1975-76, he was Assistant to the President at College of Idaho. In 1976 Larry successfully ran for the Idaho State House of Representatives and represented District 19 for five terms. He served on the State Affairs Committee, Local Government Committee and between 1983 and 1986 was Chairman of the Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee. He was a director and vice president with the Greater Boise Chamber of Commerce, a Division Campaign Chairman and director with the United Way of Ada County and a director with the Boise Philharmonic Association. He was a member of St. John's Parish, Hillcrest Country Club and the Arid Club. Larry was an avid fly fisherman and he and Jane loved skiing at Bogus Basin and Sun Valley.
Across a life of 101 years and a married life of 72 years, Larry amassed a long list of friends in San Francisco, Portland, Boise, and Carmel. He had strong connections with business and legislative associates, charitable work, golf/fishing/hiking companions, musical interests, and associations with his children and their friends. His ties with Stanford University were strong and he was the sixth recipient of its Golden Spike Award in 1970. He had a great effect on careers of friends, as mentor to interns in the Legislature and at the College of Idaho, and on his children as a strong and thoughtful father. He was frequently called on as a speaker for professional or charitable functions.
His wife, Jane, predeceased him in 2011. He leaves five children: Lawrence W. "Tige" Harris III, Cornelius, OR (Peggy); Caroline Henderson, Jacksonville, OR; Father Edwin B. Harris S.J., San Jose, CA; Kenneth Harris (Carmel Crock), Boise; and Louise Harris (Ray Khoury), Richmond, CA, six grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 5, at St. Thomas More Church in Portland, Oregon, followed by a reception at the Harris house in Cornelius. Larry will be interred privately at Riverview Cemetery next to his wife. Donations may be made to the "Lawrence W. Jr., and Jane B. Harris Fellowship Fund" at Stanford University, a family fund for supporting public service interns. Its address is c/o Beth Ross, External Relations, Haas Center for Public Service, 562 Salvatierra Walk, Stanford, CA 94305-8620