Buckner New Harris, Jr.
1927 ~ 2014
Buckner (Bucky, Buck) New Harris, Jr., 86 of Boise, Idaho passed away on January 12, 2014. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, friend, teacher, coach, athlete, and outdoorsman. His upbeat personality and sense of humor will be especially remembered and missed.
Buck was born in Norfolk, Virginia on July 31, 1927 to the late Buckner New Harris and Edna Lee Riddick. Buck had two older sisters, Jane (Phil) Landvogt and Katy (Bob) Gardner who preceded him in death. When Buck's father, a career Naval officer, was transferred to the Long Beach Naval base in 1932, his life in Southern California began. Buck attended school in Long Beach, graduated from Wilson High School in 1945 and immediately joined the Navy. He served for 16 months at the end of WWII and then attended Whittier College where he played football, earning All-West Coast honors as a halfback. He graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While attending college Buck met his wife of 62 years, Janet Blanchard Kluger. In 1957, he received a Master's of Art in Education from Cal State University at Long Beach (formerly Long Beach State College).
Buck was a teacher and coach in the Long Beach Unified School District for 36 years, retiring in 1987 after teaching/coaching for 33 years at Millikan High School. He had fond memories of his students, fellow coaches and Millikan's CIF championships in baseball, basketball, football, track and cross country. Many of Buck's lifelong friends were made during his teaching career.
Being an educator with time off in the summer allowed Buck to experience as rich a life as one can have- not only in terms of pursuing his passions of fly fishing and tennis, but in allowing the family the opportunity to share wonderful experiences together- summers on the beach while Buck lifeguarded for the City of Long Beach, body surfing, camping, fishing and many other activities which made lasting impressions on the entire family.
After retiring from teaching, Buck and Janet moved to Boise, Idaho to be closer to family and to the Madison River Valley in Montana, where until a few years ago they spent every summer fly fishing, playing tennis, golfing and hiking. Buck spent countless hours wading and floating the Madison River catching and releasing the famous Rainbows and Browns of the Madison. It was widely believed that Buck caught every Brown trout between Quake Lake and Ennis by the time his trips to Montana ended. His dear friend Jon Meyer might argue that point, also claiming to have caught them all. Both are likely true. Buck and Janet made many wonderful friends during their summers in Montana. When summer ended, they returned to Boise where they continued to play tennis through the winter. They were long-time members of the Boise Racquet and Swim Club and enjoyed their many friends there.
Buck is survived by his wife Janet and three children: Judy Cole (Don) of Newport Beach, CA, Buck (A) Harris (Julie) of Boise, ID, and Gail Burtch (Bob) of Boise, Idaho. He is also survived 6 grandchildren: Rob Polowski, Erin Fuss(Creighton), Buck (J) Harris, Katharine Harris, Cameron Long, Brock Harris and 3 great grandchildren: Alex Polowski, Ashlyn Fuss and Carter Fuss.
Memorial contributions can be made in his name to the Idaho Food Bank at Idahofoodbank.org.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, January 19, 2014, at Plantation Country Club, 6515 W. State St., Boise, Idaho from 4pm to 7pm.
Published in Idaho Statesman from Jan. 15 to Jan. 16, 2014