Alva H. Harris

December 22, 1928 – March 19, 2013

NEW BERN - Alva Howard Harris, 84, of 109 Jubilee Place, New Bern, died at his home on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, after a courageous battle with Parkinson's Disease.

Born in Carteret County, December 22, 1928, he was the son of the late Ben and Hazel Whitley Harris. Early in his life, his family moved to Leechville and then into Hyde County and in later years he moved to the New Bern area.

Alva was a 1947 graduate of the former John A. Wilkinson High School in Belhaven. He left for Alaska on Easter Sunday of 1949 and returned at Thanksgiving and then went to Alaska again in 1950 and was there from Easter to Thanksgiving. While in Alaska, he worked on a salmon trawler and in the gold mines. He entered the Coast Guard in December, 1950 where he served until 1953. Thus, his time in Alaska and with the Coast Guard was in the middle of his undergraduate years as he had run out of money. He then entered N. C. State University where he studied in Wildlife Management and earned his Master's of Science Degree in 1958. He served as visiting professor at N. C. State and he later received his Ph.D in Parasitology in June of 1965 and then on to Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana as professor of Natural Science until his retirement in 1988. He also served for some years as Chief Ecologist and Collector for Carolina Biological Supply Company. In 1990, he founded his own trucking company which is now owned by his son, Michael. Even after his retirement he enjoyed commercial fishing from his home place in Hyde County, N. C.

Surviving are his wife, soul mate and love of his life for five years, Donna Ange Harris; three sons, Ben Howard Harris and wife Anne of Winston-Salem, Kenneth Alva Harris of Fourchon, La., and Michael Robert Harris of Thibodaux, La..; three sisters, Sylvia H. Davis of the Ponzer Community in Hyde County, N.C., Sue H. Castellow of Washington, N.C. and Judy H. Riddle of Fayetteville, N.C.; two grandchildren, Michael and Benjamin Harris.

His life will be remembered privately in a special gathering of his family for a time of sharing.

Memorials are suggested to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, New York 10163-4777 or by going to donate online for Parkinson's Research.

Bryan Funeral Service in Swan Quarter is assisting the Harris Family and online sympathy messages may be directed to

Published in Sun Journal from Mar. 21 to Mar. 24, 2013