Frederick Len Harris
February 27, 1931 - December 3, 2020
Fred Harris, a native San Diegan, was born to Robert and Edrie Harris inFebruary, 1931 and died at home on December 3, 2020. He lived a full life with many different interests and it seemed there was no challenge too big or task too small for him to attempt and complete. He was an artist, furniture maker, prize winning photographer, cabin builder and jewelry maker. He painstakingly made and flew model airplanes, being one of the first to put a camera on one to view the landscape.Growing up in Point Loma, he attended Loma Portal Grade School, Dana Junior High and graduated from Point Loma High School. After graduation he attended the University of Arizona. He spent four years in the United States Navy during the Korean War and was stationed in Pearl Harbor, serving as a Pattern Maker and in 1953 was commissioned to build a scale model of the K-2 Killer submarine (pre-atomic) for the Pacific Fleet Headquarters. His work was praised by Rear Admiral Mompson, Commander of the Submarine Pacific Fleet. While stationed in Hawaii he met and married Mary Lou, his wife of 67 years. Their daughter, Carole, was born there and although both wanted to stay in the relaxed atmosphere of the Islands, they returned to San Diego in 1954 where Fred joined the family business. Their sons, Randal (deceased) and Jamie wereborn in San Diego and with Carole attended and graduated from the same Jr. and High schools as their father.He was an avid sailor, beginning at age 12, joining the San Diego Yacht Club asa Junior member. After returning home from his Navy service he rejoined the Yacht Club and became very active in sailing. He was fortunate to be able to crew and/or navigate in most of the major big boat races on the west coast including Hawaii, Acapulco, La Paz and Puerto Vallarta. His biggest sailing disappointment was not going on the Tahiti race which was cancelled at the last minute.He joined the San Diego Sheriffs Reserve Search and Rescue Division in 1987 logging almost 5000 hours of volunteer service over a 10 year period and retired as a Reserve Lieutenant. He was very active in communications and developed a training manual for the Communications Bus. He was called out at all hours to help look for lost children or hikers and was involved in running the bus up to Los Angeles during the 1992 riots.His friends were very important to Fred and in addition to monthly "good ol boys" luncheons, he looked forward to yearly hunting trips with friends where he enjoyed the comradery and shot mostly photographs. Another lifetime activity was fishing with his sons. In addition every family vacation included fishing,hiking and camping. The family traveled the country to many state parks in a trailer - and motor home looking for good fishing and camping spots . encountering beautiful scenery to photograph and rivers, lakes and/or oceans to fish.Fred spent hours making things for his familyand as a perceived legacy hespent seven years of weekends using his many skills to build the interior of the first family Julian cabin.only to have it taken down to ash in the 2003 Cedar Fire. The cabin was rebuilt a couple of years later and Mary Lou and Fred spent almost every weekend enjoying the mountain atmosphere. It continues to be a gathering place for family and holidays.His 2013 stroke put an end to his many activities in life, but he kept his mind active with technical projects he could manage on his iPhone and i-Pad from his chair.Fred's primary goal in life was to provide a good future for his family - which he did. His wife and children thought of him as a good friend as well as an exceptional husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and uncle.Survived by his wife, Mary Lou; two of his three children, Carole and Jamie; eight grandchildren, Melissa, Christopher, Colin, Cayla, Malinalli, Frederick, Fiona and Malia; two great grandchildren, Logan and Avery.A celebratory memorial will be planned at a future date.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Dec. 27, 2020.