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In memoriam: David George Harris

1944 - 2023

Dave was born September 28, 1944, in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. The oldest of three siblings, he is survived by his sister Ione (Brisbane, Australia) and brother James (Richmond, BC).

A relocation to Vancouver in his school-aged years fortuitously led to a lifelong connection with Brigitte. Their 59-year marriage saw them living and working in small towns on both sides of the country before a sight-unseen move to Powell River with two young children in 1976.

The Sunshine Coast provided the backdrop for many decades of teaching, creating, building, volunteering and raising family. In addition to Brigitte, Dave is survived by daughter Zora, her partner Ryan and their two children Caelum and Saskia (Powell River), and son Vance, his partner Alexandra and their two children Oscar and Ruby (Vancouver). Dave was fiercely proud of them all.

Anyone who met Dave would appreciate that he enjoyed a clever turn of phrase. While one might not ascribe him a classic comic delivery, his measured, often pun-filled reflections held gems for the active listener. A very patient man himself, he was always incredibly giving of his time. He was an ardent supporter of community-based learning, local environmental causes and the arts.

Dave’s search for beauty through all forms of woodwork brought national attention when, in 1987, Harrowsmith magazine recognized the timber-frame house he conceived and built by hand as preeminent. Far from simple acknowledgment of craft however, the ensuing article and media attention expounded on Dave and Brigitte’s ambition of living a sustainable life. What may have seemed like fringe at the time is now quite rightfully entrenched in our mainstream culture. They were clearly onto something.

Dave maintained a more than 25-year dance with Parkinson’s disease. While not character-defining in its own right, the affliction somehow melded with Dave’s unique combination of poise and pig-headedness. He gracefully bent to the disease’s many indignities while steadfastly refusing to be sidelined.

In lieu of a celebration of life (Dave’s wishes), the family encourages donations to Parkinson Canada and/or Powell River Hospital Foundation.

Go well, Dave.