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Lawrence Harris

Lawrence W. Harris Jr., (Larry)

Great-grandson of San Francisco Gold Rush crusading editor James King of William, died in Carmel, California, on Saturday, March 2, at the age of 101. Larry was born in San Francisco on July 23, 1911 to Lawrence Harris and Lucie King. He attended Galileo High School and 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 worked for one year for The Emporium-Capwell Company. Then he moved to Portland, Oregon, to join the family business, Ames Harris & Neville, a manufacturer of burlap and cotton bags. In 1939, he married the former Jane Beebe of Portland. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II in the Transportation Corps.


In 1955, Larry and his family moved to San Francisco when he became the Executive Vice President of Ames Harris & Neville. While in San Francisco, he was a member of Bay Area United Way and was a Trustee of the Santa Catalina School Foundation in Monterey. He served as a director of the Yosemite Park & Curry Company, as a Governor of Stanford University Associates Board and as board member of Stanford University Alumni Association. He was a member of The Family, the Pacific Union Club, the Burlingame Country Club, and the Society of California Pioneers.


The family business was sold to Boise Cascade in 1958, and the Harris family moved to Boise, Idaho, in 1960. Larry spent the remainder of his business career working for Boise Cascade, retiring as corporate secretary in 1971. After three years working for the College of Idaho, Larry ran for the Idaho State Legislature five times, spending 10 years in the Legislature where he served as chairman of its Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee. He and Jane retired and moved to Carmel Valley Manor in Carmel, California in 1987, where they were both active in residents' affairs for many years.


During his years back in California, Larry was active in alumni affairs at Stanford. In 1970 he had been the sixth recipient of the Gold Spike Award. He was instrumental in launching the first annual national giving campaign for the University. He received the Outstanding Achievement Award in 2002, primarily for his work with the Cardinal Society (alumni of 65 years or more) and for working on his own Class of 1932 reunions.


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 associates, charitable work, golf and hiking companions, musical interests, and associations with his children and grandchildren and their friends. He had a great effect on careers of friends as a mentor, and of his children as a strong and thoughtful father. He was frequently called on as a speaker for professional or charitable functions.


Larry's wife, Jane, predeceased him in June 2011. He leaves five children: Lawrence W. "Tige" Harris III, Cornelius, OR (Peggy); Caroline Henderson, Jacksonville, OR; Fr. Edwin B. Harris, S.J, San Jose, CA; Kenneth Harris (Carmel Crock), Boise, ID; and Louise Harris (Ray Khoury), Richmond, CA, six grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.


A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 5, at St. Thomas More Church in Portland, OR. 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. Arrangements directed by The Paul.Mortuary,acific Grove, CA.

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Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Mar. 16 to Mar. 18, 2013
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