Robert Hulbert Harris, 80: Loved to travel, had a zest for life

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YARMOUTH — Robert Hulbert “Bob” Harris, 80, died Jan. 17 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House with his family by his side.

Born Nov. 6, 1931 in Portland, he was the son of Reginald Hulbert Harris and Alice Eugenia Hupper. After spending the first years of his life in Cape Elizabeth and Gorham, the family moved to Boothbay Harbor.

He graduated from Boothbay Harbor High School in 1949. He was studious and very active in his school, participating in football, basketball and track. In 1947, he won the George B. Kennison Junior Prize Speaking Contest for reading “Athletics in Education,” written by his father.

Harris attended Colby College in 1949 and 1950, leaving in 1951 to join the U.S. Air Force. He went through basic training at Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, Texas and Technical Supply School Training at Lowry AFB in Denver, Colo., eventually joining the Technical Supply Squadron, U.S. Air Force in Texas.

He was stationed at Nousara Air Force Base near Casablanca, Morocco for almost two years, returning to Long Island, N.Y. and Pittsburgh, Pa., where he worked in space defence. On Jan. 3, 1955, he was honorably discharged as an Airman First Class with a Good Conduct Medal and a National Defense Service Medal.

On Jan. 29, 1955, he married Barbara Gail Irwin in Perrysville, Pa.

After leaving the U.S. Air Force he moved to Auburndale, Mass. and worked for a yearbook publishing company. He soon enrolled in Emerson College in Boston, Mass. and earned a bachelor’s degree in speech in June of 1959. While attending college, Harris worked at a rug importing company on Newbury Street in Boston, enjoying the memories of his travels stirred by their beautiful rugs and art work.

In 1960 he moved to Yarmouth and became an English and history teacher for Greely High School in Cumberland. While there he helped people with speech problems, managed the debate team, directed the yearbook and some theatrical productions

He later joined the business world, selling printers for Addressograph Multigraph of Cleveland, Ohio. In 1962 he joined the insurance industry, where he excelled for almost 50 years; he based himself in Portland and became an insurance agent for Connecticut Mutual where he was a chartered life underwriter and a chartered financial consultant. He worked for them through their merger with MassMutual and then until his retirement in 2009.

Harris was actively involved in local politics as an ardent Republican and for a time worked as a lobbyist in Augusta.

He was on numerous business, community and charitable committees and councils. He was a founding member of Yarmouth rescue, the Yarmouth Clam Festival and Royal River Park. He was also active in the First Parish Congregational Church in Yarmouth in the 1960s and 70s, returning to the church in 2007.

He loved to travel with Barbara and their three children, Karen, Scott and Debbie, going back to Morocco in 1987 and later traveling to Paris and all over the United States. When his granddaughter Rikki graduated from high school they went on a whirlwind multi-country tour of Europe and when his grandson Scott Jr. graduated they headed to Alaska.

In his later years Bob’s quest for adventure continued as he attempted to summit Katahdin and participated in two sprint distance triathlons with Scott and Karen, even after suffering the first of what would be four debilitating strokes. Though his first three strokes hit him hard and knocked him down, he fought back after each one to regain his independence and zest for life.

Fiercely independent, Harris lived life on his own terms and in his own way, and lived each day to the fullest. He adored his grandchildren and made it a point to spend as much time with them as possible.

He is survived by his daughters Karen Harris Connolly and her husband Robert of Hollis and Deborah Harris Midgette and her husband Dameron of Brunswick; his son Scott Harris and his partner Merrily Castro of Yarmouth; grandchildren Leila, Rowan, Will, Rikki and Scott Jr. and his wife Kari; sister Eleanor Aldrich and her husband Arnold of Vienna, Va.; stepdaughters Robyn Violette and her husband Dana of Portland and Jennifer banks and her husband Jay of Gorham; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be from 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 27 at Lindquist Funeral Home, 1 Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth. A memorial service and celebration of life will be held on Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. at First Parish Congregational Church, 116 Main St., Yarmouth. Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery in the spring.

Donations in Harris’s memory can be made to Hospice of Southern Maine, 180 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough, ME 04074.

Yarmouth — Robet “Bob” Hulbert Harris, 80, died Jan. 17 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House with his family by his side.

Born Nov. 6, 1931 in Portland, he was the son of Reginald Hulbert Harris and Alice Eugenia Hupper. After spending the first years of his life in Cape Elizabeth and Gorham, the family moved to Boothbay Harbor.

He graduated from Boothbay Harbor High School in 1949. He was studious and very active in his school, participating in football, basketball and track. In 1947 he won the George B. Kennison Junior Prize Speaking Contest for reading “Athletics in Education” written by his father.

Harris attended Colby College in 1949 and 1950, leaving in 1951 to join the U.S. Air Force. He went through basic training at Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, Texas and Technical Supply School Training at Lowry AFB in Denver, Colo., eventually joining the Technical Supply Squadron, U.S. Air Force in Texas. He was stationed at Nousara Air Force Base near Casablanca, Morocco fro almost two years, returning to Long Island, N.Y. and Pittsburgh, Pa. where he worked in space defence. On Jan. 3, 1955, he was honorably discharged as an Airman First Class with a Good Conduct Medal and a National Defense Service Medal.

On Jan. 29, 1955 he married Barbara Gail Irwin in Perrysville, Pa.

After leaving the U.S. Air Force he moved to Auburndale, Mass. and worked for a yearbook publishing company. He soon enrolled in Emerson College in Boston, Mass. and earned a bachelors degree in speech in June of 1959. While attending college Harris worked at a rug importing company on Newbury St. in Boston, enjoying the memories of his travels stirred by their beautiful rugs and art work.

In 1960 he moved to Yarmouth and became an English and History teacher for Greely High School in Cumberland. While there he helped people with speech problems, managed the debate team, directed the yearbook and some theatrical productions

He later joined the business world, selling printers for Addressograph Multigraph of Cleveland, Ohio. In 1962 he joined the insurance industry, where he excelled for almost 50 years; he based himself in Portland and became an insurance agent for Connecticut Mutual where he was a chartered life underwriter and a chartered financial consultant. He worked for them through their merger with MassMutual and then until his retirement in 2009.

Harris was actively involved in local politics as an ardent Republican and for a time worked as a Lobbyist in Augusta. He was on numerous business, community and charitable committees and councils: a founding member of Yarmouth rescue, the Yarmouth Clam Festival and Royal River Park. he was also active in the First Parish Congregational Church in Yarmouth in the 1960s and 70s, returning to the church in 2007.

He loved to travel with Barbara and their three children, Karen, Scott and Debbie, going back to Morocco in 1987 and later traveling to Paris and all over the United States. When his granddaughter Rikki graduated from high school they went on a whirlwind multi-country tour of Europe and when his grandson Scott Jr. graduated they headed to Alaska.

In his later years Bob’s quest for adventure continued as he attempted to summit Katahdin and participated in 2 sprint distance triathlons with Scott and Karen, even after suffering the first of what would be four debilitating strokes. Though his first three strokes hit him hard and knocked him down, he fought back after each one to regain his independence and zest for life.

Fiercely independent, Harris lived life on his own terms and in his own way, and lived each day to the fullest. He adored his grandchildren and made it a point to spend as much time with them as possible.

He is survived by his daughters Karen Harris Connolly and her husband Robert of Hollis and Deborah Harris Midgette and her husband Dameron of Brunswick; his son Scott Harris and his partner Merrily Castro of Yarmouth; grandchildren Leila, Rowan, Will, Rikki and Scott Jr. and his wife Kari; sister Eleanor Aldrich and her husband Arnold of Vienna, Va.; stepdaughters Robyn Violette and her husband Dana of Portland and Jennifer banks and her husband Jay of Gorham; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be from 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 27 at Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Ln., Yarmouth. A memorial service and celebration of life will be held on Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. at First Parish Congregational Church, 116 Main St., Yarmouth. Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery in the spring.

Donations in Harris’s memory can be made to Hospice of Southern Maine, 180 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough, ME 04074.

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