Kelsey Noelle Harris
1989 - 2021
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Kelsey Noelle Harris
Dec. 19, 1989 - March 28, 2021
On March 28, our middle daughter Kelsey took her own life after struggling for years with constant pain and surgeries associated with Endometriosis combined with many other recent challenges.
Kelsey loved teaching and coaching, but due to COVID-19, her job was eliminated and the sports she coached were cancelled. Recently her St. Bernard Floyd, a constant companion and therapy dog of hers since college, passed away from illness. Additional recent problems with finances, health and a relationship caused her to go into a spiraling depression. While she helped so many others in her tenure as a teacher, coach and counselor, she could not bring herself to get the help she needed to cope.
Kelsey grew up in Milwaukie, graduating from Christ the King Catholic School and La Salle Catholic College Prep. A gifted natural athlete, Kelsey was a force on the varsity soccer, tennis, racquetball and swimming teams. She also was a student teacher at La Salle, where she served as JV Tennis coach and assistant Varsity Tennis coach, plus she assisted the athletic trainer. She moved to Sweet Home to teach Physical Education at Sweet Home Junior High and coach JV Girls Soccer. She then moved to Lebanon High School where she served as a school counselor and coached Varsity Girls Tennis, JV Girls Soccer and Assistant Varsity Girls Soccer.
Inspired by her mentor and tennis coach Mike Devenney at La Salle, Kelsey pursued an undergraduate degree from Linfield University in Health Education and a Masters in Education from Concordia University. She was in her first year pursuing her masters degree in Counseling at Bushnell University in Eugene. She won a partial scholarship and would have graduated next year.
Kelsey loved and raised many animals including a horse, dogs, cats, and numerous chickens which she raised for their eggs. She found consolation and unconditional love with her animals, and bred Floyd to help pay for college expenses. Some of her pups were placed in service with veterans suffering from PTSD, and she also helped the Oregon St. Bernard Rescue Association place dogs, including recently with her own parents who lost their Saint Jack in July a week after Floyd passed away.
Kelsey is survived by her parents, Lance and Kellee Harris of Milwaukie; sisters, Kira and Kareena (Kenzie) Harris of Portland, and is greatly missed and eternally loved. We encourage you to pray that the stigma of unseen illness – both physical and mental – will someday be gone forever. If you need help coping with daily life, please ask for help and keep asking. Tomorrow is another day to start new, and you are surrounded by more people than you know who love you.
Celebration of Life memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, 2408 S.E. 16th Avenue, Portland, OR. The church will be recording and livestreaming the service via their Facebook and YouTube pages. Memorial contributions may be made in Kelsey's name to the Oregon St. Bernard Rescue Association ( or the Lebanon High School Girls Soccer Team and/or Lebanon High School Girls Tennis Team ( Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.
Please sign the online guest book at

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Published in The Oregonian from Apr. 2 to Apr. 4, 2021.
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16 entries
April 12, 2021
I'm sorry for your guys lost. Mrs.Harris was my 7th grade PE teacher. I wish her family the best, she will be in my prayers. God bless her and her family. I know that sh is Flying High and pain free.
Alexis Tucker
April 12, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
She was my PE teacher here in sweet home. she was nice and very pretty i wish i new what she was going trough.
Alexis Tucker
April 11, 2021
She was always happy. Always out in The pasture taken care of Starbuck her very loved retired horse. Hi spirt. A person could just see she had it just as their other two daughters have. Drive, determination and the need to change the world in her own way.
So so very sad. A huge lose to everyone she new, touched and all she never will.
You will be missed.
Scott kovacich
April 11, 2021
Lance, Kellee, Kira and Kenzie,
We are so sorry for your loss. You are all in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.
Mike, Sherie, Ashley & Bryce
Sherie Rosenbaum
April 7, 2021
I was always drawn to Kelsey. She and I for whatever reason always found ourselves enjoying each other’s company in a crowded room. I knew her as a strong willed soul, with a heart that wished to release others from the pain she found all too familiar. She always made me feel like I was heard, but I cherish more the few times she opened up to me.

I am going to miss my friend.

Kellee, Lance, Kira and Kenz, I love you all and I have you in my hearts.
Mykel Leon
April 6, 2021
The endometriosis community would like to send our love and thoughts to Kelsey family and friends. Endometriosis is such a cruel disease and you were a true warrior. I hope you are no longer suffering. All our love forever and always. I promise we will advocate so hard to make change xxx
Keisha Meek
April 5, 2021
Rest in Peace My Sweet Endo Sister

April 5, 2021
To Kelsey's family,

We are so sorry to hear she's no longer with us. Eventhough we didn’t know her personally, we are very familiar with her struggles with pain, chronic illness & sadly even our own suicidal ideations. We are very sorry she experienced so much so young.

Unrelenting extreme pain often effects one's functioning & quality of life. Living with this extreme pain day in & day out can become very overwhelming. It isn't an easy road by any means & the stigmas attached to pain medication makes it that much harder.

We can tell how much Kelsey loved her family, her animals & life. We can also see how much you loved her. Telling her story took a lot of strength & courage. We also pray the stigma & bias stops against those suffering physically & mentally. Every story told brings us one step closer to this goal.

May your Kelsey be forever blessed & pain free.
Chronic Pain Voices
April 5, 2021
Sweet little angel, hope your pain is over. ❤
Edgar Brooks
April 5, 2021
I want to send my sincere sympathies. I did not know Kelsey. I kinda felt like I did after reading the loving, powerful obit. You were brave in sharing her story, and so true to the cause of those that suffer in silence. I cannot say enough about your courage. It sounds like you lost a beautiful soul. I wish you all peace.I hope your tears can turn in to smiles, and sweet memories. I am so very sorry for your loss.
marilyn Mason
April 5, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss. I could not help that notice that Kelsey was within two months of age as our Chris, who also took his life last July. He too was a Catholic HS grad here in Portland, has two siblings, and we are a tennis playing family. While he did not have chronic physical pain, the mental/emotional pain of deep depression was agonizing. I know you don't know me, but you are in my prayers. I believe Chris and Kelsey are at peace in God's embrace, but that we the living are in need of all the prayers we can get just to make it through each day. We too have been open about the cause of death, so I applaud you for making that hard and brave decision, too. May you gradually find healing, slow though it may be...
Sara Salvi
April 5, 2021
Although I do not know your daughter I am very moved and very saddened as read about her. She was an extremely accomplished person. Thank you for being open about how necessary it is to seek help for mental and physical needs - sometimes unseen. Your words of hope and encouragement are also very appreciated. My deepest sympathy to family and friends.
Lynda Bell
April 4, 2021
I did not know Kelsey but wanted to deliver my thanks to her parents for this deeply affecting tribute, which had to be so difficult to write but which is so profound and important. Your lovely and gifted daughter was dealing with compounding challenges, and her death is not a "failure" but simply an extremely tragic and devastating loss. I applaud your incalculable courage in telling the truth. The stigma associated with this kind of situation only adds to the grief and does not help ANYONE. We have to SPEAK UP and address the reality. In my own family there have been two suicides and no one wanted anyone outside of the family to know--shame is not a tool for positive change. Thank you, again, for your bravery; it's part of honoring Kelsey to TELL THE TRUTH and because of the person she was, she would agree, I think. I am so deeply deeply sorry for your pain and hope my comments don't add to it. Continue finding joy in your memories of the life she lived and the people she touched. Her absence now does not mean those wonderful moments are not forever real. Thank you again.
April 4, 2021
I just saw the news about your sister. Such a sad and difficult time for you, your parents, and your family. Kenzie, I remember you as a fine student and a wonderful young lady. Your sister sounds just the same. May the love of your family and friends bring you, your parents, and your entire family comfort and peace in the days ahead. As always, Miss Milani
Marilyn Milani
April 4, 2021
Thank you for your honesty about the struggles Kelsey had and the wonderful things about her. Often pains of life, physical and emotional, create isolation. Sharing the truth helps to connect. As someone in longterm addiction recovery talking with others who struggle helps me and them. May your honesty and Kelsey's life bring comfort to others and your family.
Steve Harris
April 3, 2021
I do not know your daughter, however I find myself in tears over such a drastic loss. I can only hope you find comfort in the good time and her accomplishments. My prayers are with all who are in sadness . my she rest in peace.
Patricia Brousseau
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