Buckner New Harris Jr.
{ "" }
Share
Share Buckner's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
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. Please sign the guestbook at www.presstelegram.com/obits.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Press-Telegram on Jan. 16, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
37 entries
November 14, 2014
I am sad to hear of Coach Harris's passing. In 1978, I took a coed summer running class and he was leading the class. During a run, he rode up on his bike pacing me and I was on my 9th mile and could barely breath. He asked me to join the first Girls Varsity Cross Country/Track and Field Team Millikan ever had. I was so honored that he chose me. He was a great mentor, role model and motivator. He encouraged me to never give up and to train hard. I still remember him cheering me on as I crossed the finish line. I will never forget him.
Karen Molina
September 17, 2014
My condolences go out to all the Harris family. I, like so many of Mr. Harris' past students, was saddened to learn “Bucky” had passed from this life. He was truly an inspiration to those fortunate enough to know him. Mentor, coach, educator and friend. I attended Millikan HS from 69-71. During that time, Mr. Harris was my track coach, math teacher and wood shop instructor. He excelled in each of these areas. He challenged and directed his students and athletes to meet or exceed their own expectations. Under his guidance, I was able break then established conference records in pole vaulting. In math, a subject I struggled with, he provided tutoring enabling me to go into engineering. In shop, he assisted in getting me my first construction job outside of school. I consider myself privileged to have made his acquaintance. His legacy will go on in the hearts of those fortunate enough to have truly known this man's compassion.
Richard Bailey
September 14, 2014
As we go through life we all encounter special people who leave a positive imprint on our lives. For me, Coach Bucky was one of those special people. Was on Track on Cross-country from 59-62. I was never one of his "star" athletes, but he treated me as though I was just as important. The values and fruits of teamwork that he instilled in all of those he "touched" will live on forever. Thank you Bucky for "being there" for all of us.
Paul OHaver
August 12, 2014
Coach Harris was great individual that I truly looked up to. He was a good friend to us all and really look out for our welfare.

I remember the VW he drove around in and keep pace with the team as we ran thru the streets of Long Beach.

I enjoyed my time with him for the years I ran for Millikan Track and Cross Country (71-74).

We all will miss him.
Duane Stanton
July 29, 2014
I ran track for Coach Harris in '67 and '68. His toughness, gruff caring and integrity all impacted my life. It was clear he cared about each of us--whether a varsity star or a "C" grunt (I was the latter.) My condolences to his entire family.
David Schulman
May 8, 2014
Coach Bucky, I wasn't a track guy, but enjoyed having you as a Phys. Ed. teacher. RIP Condolences to Family and Friends Larry Ford Class of '65
Larry Ford
March 29, 2014
Looking back to my years at Millikan I have thought often about Coach Harris. Bucky was a true gentleman. I appreciate his graciousness in allowing me to be the track team manager when I failed the physical exam to participate in track and cross country. He was very special person to me. Class of 1969.
Arnold Bunting
March 20, 2014
Coach Harris was my mentor, father figure, and friend. He got me my first real job at the beach, drove me and my vaulting pole to CIF Finals, let me sub for him, helped me when I began coaching, and taught me life lessons by example. He was a tremendous person and will be missed by all. I have great love for him and send my condolences to his family
Don Blair
February 6, 2014
I came to Millikan in 1967 to run the 440 and Coach Harris had be running the 120 high hurdles in no time. Coach was probably the nicest and kindest coach/teacher I ever had.
Bob Buckley
January 26, 2014
To the entire Harris family our sincerest condolences. The Redner/Matteson family will forever remember watching many great Rose Bowl games together. Bucky was a great friend to many in the Long Beach area. His legacy is strong and lives on in the many people who had the privilege of knowing him.
Brooks Matteson-Keith
January 21, 2014
Bucky was a great friend and fellow coach with me at Millikan. We spent many great summers lifeguarding at Prospect and Termino. You couldn't ask for a better partner
Carl Halsted
January 19, 2014
R I P coach
robert mckittrick
January 18, 2014
How I remember those repeat 220's while competing for Millikan in 59, 60 & 61. Bucky was such a great motivator and coach. He is a big reason that I started coaching a youth Track Club (West Valley Eagles) 39 years ago and am still at it. Those three years under Bucky will always be at the top of my memories! Thanks Coach!
Jack Dawson
January 18, 2014
He was an Educator, Coach, Friend and Mentor. He left his mark on many. I had the pleasure from '54 to '57 at Stanford and '57 to '60 at Millikan.
Jack Jakubik
January 18, 2014
Coach Harris: I was fortunate to know Bucky Harris in several settings. I was a member of his cross country and track squads, an assistant track coach at Millikan in 1972, and in my capacity as Vice Principal at Jordan High School when Bucky substituted there, post retirement. He was both an inspirational figure and mentor. Mr. Harris will be missed.
Ralph Spicer
January 17, 2014
So sorry for your loss
Betty Lawrence
January 17, 2014
Coach Harris: an outstanding Coach and mentor to so many
Millikan Alumni!! A true loss to
Millikan at retirement and now to Society!! Thanks Coach.., condolences to the family!!
Jennifer Falk
January 17, 2014
Coach Harris "Bucky" was a great coach and inspiration to our 63-66 Track team.
Greg Ward, Bob Platt, Ed Ricke, Gary Wilson, Steve Conklin we were all made better by Bucky's mentorship. The first Millikan team to beat LB Poly in a duel meet 6 qualifiers to the CIF finals great job Coach. I am so happy to read how rewarding your life was you deserved it!
Phil Kuhn
January 17, 2014
Coach Buckner was clearly the class act of the Millikan P.E. department. I've no doubt he made a lasting impact on many student athletes whose lives were richer and fuller for having been mentored by him. My condolences to his family.
Michael Lipson
January 17, 2014
Love and prayers to his family. Wonderful man who did so much for so many.
Vicki (George)
January 17, 2014
My favorite teacher. An inspiration to all young men growing up
Tom Cvek
January 16, 2014
All my races were for you!!
The Coach who gave me my start in life and taught me to believe in myself and to do my best. He treated me like a son knowing that my Dad was killed in the war and gave me the guidance and direction I needed. I would not be who I am or where I am today without his teaching and mentor-ship. I know he did the same for so many kids and he will be missed by all of us. Thanks Coach and I Love you.
George Davis
January 16, 2014
What a wonderful man and terrific coach. Praying for the family and friends which are many. Millikan 67
Penny Nelson (Koontz)
January 16, 2014
I ran cross country and track under Coach Harris' calm yet determined instruction at Millikan High School, graduating in 1964. He was also important to my brother, Hugh, who graduated in '62. I remember Hugh telling me that I needed to join the cross country team because Coach Harris was such a good coach and important mentor. Hugh was right. I believe that Coach Harris knew about the strong friendships that were forming among the boys on his teams, and he encouraged our support for each other. My condolences go to all his family. Please know what a difference he made!
Stannard "Stan" Baker
January 16, 2014
Our deepest sympathies to the Harris family from Robin and Dusty Ritter. Our memories are fond of our childhood spent with Bucky and Janet and family.
Robin Ritter
January 16, 2014
Coach "Bucky" Harris was a tremendous inspiration and mentor during my years on the track and cross country teams 1960-1964. I was inspired by his continued commitment to sports while playing tennis at Eldorado Park in the 1970's
My thoughts and prayers with his entire loving family.
Tom Welte
January 16, 2014
Condolences to the family. I believe Coach Harris was my B football coach in 1965. We won the championship that year. Such a long great life!
Michael Arvey
January 16, 2014
Coach Harris was a great man at a great time in Long Beach. My prayers to the family. Mark McKee
January 16, 2014
Mr. Harris: a true educator and mentor. A icon. Mr. Harris may have influenced me in becoming a teacher. Always willing to listen. Kind and thoughtful. Tough when necessary. Your life made a difference in so many lives. Rest in eternal peace.
Dr. Stephen Dixon
January 16, 2014
Coach Harris was a phenomenal track and cross country coach! He knew how to get every last ounce of talent from his athletes. To many he was not only a coach; he was a mentor, an advocate, a psychologist, and a friend. He expected a great deal from his student athletes and he was rewarded with much success. He found a way to take an average athlete and turn him into an outstanding performer. Coach Harris' legacy will live long in the memories of us who had the privilege of being under his tutelage. I draw upon my many fond memories during track and Cross Country for which he was responsible. I offer my sincere condolences to the Harris family.
Steve Roah
January 16, 2014
I ran cross country and track for my senior year, and Bucky pushed me to far exceed what I thought I could do. He knew my ability better than I did. A great coach, and a great man!
Tim Riter
January 16, 2014
I attended Millikan H.S. from 1966-68. Those years were always highlighted by the wonderful sports programs and Mr. Harris was a big part of its success. In addition, I am good friends with his daughter Judy, who I adore….all my love and condolences to the entire family.
Cynthia Endriss-Greer
January 16, 2014
My condolences to the family. Coach Harris was my track coach fron 1981-83. Always remember his big smile. RIP
John Bareford
January 16, 2014
A fine man.
Bill Simpson
January 16, 2014
As my coach for "C' and 'B" basketball at Millikan, Coach Harris impacted my life greatly on and off the court. Am thankful for having him being a part of my life.
Dan Frost
January 16, 2014
I have many great memories of Bucky and the entire family. May God bless the Harris family during this difficult time.
Kathy Olszewski Marino
January 15, 2014
Coach Harris was my track coach at Millikan from 67'to 69' and he enabled me to receive a UCLA scholarship. He was a wonderful man and I will never forget him. I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences to the family.
Robert Langston
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences