Harris Eudell Kluksdahl
Harris Eudell Kluksdahl passed away in San Rafael on December 19, 2020 after a lengthy illness. He was 87. Born to Hans and Alyce (Meyers) Kluksdahl in Driscoll, North Dakota on March 4, 1933, Harris grew up in Stanwood, Washington, where his mother was a school teacher, following the early death of Hans. Harris earned his BS and PhD degrees in chemistry at Western Washington University and at the University of Washington. He began his career in Wilmington, Delaware, as a research chemist at DuPont, before settling in San Rafael, where he spent the rest of his professional life as a research chemist for Chevron Research. At Chevron, Harris led a group of researchers in 1968 to conceive and formulate the Type F Rheniforming catalyst that would launch the first of many generations of unleaded gasoline, and make an enormous financial impact on the oil industry. This groundbreaking discovery earned Dr. Kluksdahl admission into the California Inventors Hall of Fame in 1983.
His family and friends have long admired Harris's passion for hobbies and interests outside his accomplished career. An ardent devotee of classical music – and particularly chamber music – Harris loved attending the Marin Symphony with his beloved wife Jackie. Fascinated by his Nordic roots and his family genealogy, Harris was able to trace his family history in Norway back to the 1400s, write a book draft outlining stories of his ancestors' experiences on the Midwestern prairie, and assemble a major collection of traditional Hardanger weavings. A talented and skilled woodworker, he also enjoyed making furniture of all sorts in his woodshop. Harris took great pride in harvesting his orchard of citrus and fruit trees that he planted at his home in Terra Linda. An intrepid and passionate traveler, he delighted in exploring all parts of the globe—from European capitals to the ice shelves of Antarctica, from the Canyonlands of the Southwest to his native North Dakota prairie. Harris took joy as an outdoorsman and angler, fishing and backpacking with family and friends in the Sierra Nevada, the Trinities, and the Cascades over many decades.
He shared his love for the great outdoors with generations of Boy Scouts, along with the values of team work and ethical leadership. For years Harris served as Scoutmaster of Troop 76 in the Marin Council of Boy Scouts of America. His three sons were Eagle scouts.
Harris is predeceased by his first son James, and survived by his wife Jacqueline (Bailey), his sons Scott and Tom (Joyce Parr) and their mother Ann (Nilsson Davis), his stepdaughter Carolyn Jensen Dwyer and stepson Craig Jensen (Bethe Riordan), his grandson Austin, his step-grandchildren Isaac, Christiana, Seth, Erika, and Grace, and his step-great-grandchildren Sam and Henry. Donations in Harris's memory may be made to the Marin Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra, or Hospice by the Bay. Plans for a memorial service will be announced later.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jan. 10 to Jan. 17, 2021.