Robert HARRIS

HARRIS; Robert Murray

~ Life Well Lived ~


Passed away on January 15th, 2016 at the Mission Hospice in his 92nd year. Murray was born August 22, 1923 in Kamloops, BC, the fourth of six brothers. He spent most of his childhood in Star City, Saskatchewan. Murray joined the RCAF shortly before his 18th birthday. In April 1943 he boarded the Queen Elizabeth and set off for England posted to Yorkshire, Skipton-on-Swale, and Dalton where he served as an air force service mechanic, being discharged in Vancouver, September 1945. In 1946 Murray enrolled at the University of British Columbia where he received his BA in Mathematics and Chemistry and first year teaching certification. His first teaching job was at a 2 teacher school in Spences Bridge, BC. Two years later his next teaching position took him to Mission where he taught Math and Chemistry until his retirement in 1985. He coached the men’s volleyball team and took one team to the Provincial Championships. In his later years he also served as the Vice Principle of Mission Senior Secondary High School. During his time at Mission Senior, he took night and summer classes receiving his Bachelor of Education degree from UBC and his Masters of Education from Western Washington State University in 1967. After his retirement he devoted his time to woodworking – making many bowls, Christmas decorations, pens, cheese trays and tables. He loved to curl and was still in the curling league and winning bonspiels at 86 years of age. Murray volunteered with the Canadian Cancer Society and drove patients into Vancouver and Bellingham for treatments. He was a member of the Mission Royal Canadian Legion. He was also known for playing the pots and pans until he got himself a drum set. Both he and Nona travelled extensively, especially to Ireland. They enjoyed many trips together. One of his greatest joys was running into past students who remembered him by the nick name “Big Mur” or “Prunee”. Murray is lovingly remembered by his wife of over 66 years, Nona; his daughters Kelly-Anne (Larry) and Jill (Bruce); grandchildren Brianna (Ryan), Ryan and Ashley (James), Kevin and Colin; and great grandchildren Mason, Madisyn and Jacob. He is also survived by his brother Gavin (Pam). He will also be remembered by his sisters-in-law, Kitty, Lenore and Davene; as well as many nieces and nephews, family and friends. At his request no funeral service will be held. A Celebration of Life will be held mid-March and will be announced at a later date. Memorial tributes may be made to the Mission Hospice, 32180 Hillcrest Avenue, Mission, BC V2V 1L2 or to the Veterans Fund, c/o Mission Royal Canadian Legion Branch 57, 32627 Logan Avenue, Mission, BC V2V 6K4. The end of an era for the Harris family, but we are so thankful he is no longer suffering. Our thanks go out to Dr. Patel, the team at the Mission Memorial Hospital who saw him many times over the last year and to the Mission Hospice team and volunteers who made his and the family’s lives easier over the past week.