James “Jim” C. Harris, 79, passed away on Feb. 28, 2012, at his home in Delta Junction after an extended illness.
Jim was born on May 25, 1932, in Winchester, Ind., the son of Joseph and Leah Harris.
After graduating from Jefferson High School in Randolph County, Ind., Jim attended Ball State Teachers College in Muncie, Ind.
In 1954, while attending Ball State, Jim was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served as a medical aidman for 21 months. After being honorably discharged from the service, Jim returned to Ball State and graduated in 1957.
Jim’s career as a teacher and athletic coach spanned numerous years, starting with Roann and Bryant high schools in Indiana, before moving to Hayden, Colo., in 1961. At Hayden, Jim taught wood shop and served as the head coach for both basketball and track, as well as assistant coach for football.
In 1975, Jim moved to Delta Junction, where he taught sixth grade and served as the junior varsity basketball coach for three years before taking over as head coach.
Jim was an avid gun collector, hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman. During his life, Jim hunted almost every major big game animal in North America, bagging a number of record trophies over the years. In addition to hunting all over Alaska, Jim hunted in Africa, and each year enjoyed going to various states in the Lower 48 to hunt both small and big game.
Jim is survived by two sons, Eric Joseph Harris of Chittenango, N.Y., and Anthony William Harris of Newport News, Va.; a daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Harris; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two sisters, Judy Wagner and Barbara Hollingshead; and many, many friends who love him dearly and played a special part in his extraordinary journey.
He was preceded in death by both of his parents; his former wife, Linda (Byers) Harris; a son, Ronald Harris; and a grandson Anthony Eric Harris.
Jim’s ashes will be spread upon the place he loved, the great state of Alaska.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers; please send donations to the Interior Alaska Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 671, Delta Junction, AK 99737. Checks should be made out to Interior Alaska Hospital Foundation. This foundation is working to support a project that was very dear to Jim.
Arrangements were entrusted to Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home.