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Sherwin Harris

1937 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Sherwin Harris Obituary
Sherwin Plotnick Harris

Sherwin Plotnick Harris, self-proclaimed normal family man, passed away on January 11, 2016 onboard an airliner bound for Kauai. He was 78. Born on April 5, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York, his family moved to San Francisco in 1944. Sherwin lived most of his life in the East Bay Area.

He leaves behind his beloved wife, Brooke Harris; children, Elizabeth (and Sean) Jordan and Adam (and Donna Podger) Harris; grandchildren, Jason and Joshua Williams, Anna Harris and Connor Jordan; brothers, Michael (and Sylvia) Harris and Jeffrey (and Carole) Plotnick; loving nieces, nephews and cousins; as well as, Buddy and Grayce, his parrots and companions. All mourn the loss of this larger than life Master and Commander.

An entrepreneur, he loved developing businesses, was a Coast Guard licensed master mariner, sailing instructor, pilot, and scuba diver. He sailed the oceans, soared the skies from Alaska to Mexico, traveled the world and conquered mountains both allegorical and real.

He is known for his attempt to rescue his daughter, Liane Harris, from Jonestown when he helped organize the trip to Guyana with Congressman Leo Ryan as part of of the Concerned Relatives delegation in November, 1978. Never reconciled to this tragic event, he spent his later years educating people on the dangers of cults, using his own experience as a way to honor the life of Liane.

Always optimistically seeing the world as it could be, Sherwin was an active member of the Aahmes Shrine, San Francisco Sheriff's Air Squadron, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Quiet Birdmen, Experimental Aircraft Association, a FEMA Disaster Response Worker after hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and a volunteer for progressive organizations. His contributions to making the world a better place will be his legacy.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 13, 2016
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