Mark F Harris, 91, passed away June 4, 2023 in Lindon, Utah, due to prostate cancer, neuropathy and TMB. Mark was born November 29, 1931, in Delta, Utah to Edward Daniel and Cora Forster Harris, the fifth of seven children. He attended Delta Elementary School, Delta High School, Branch Agricultural School (now SUU), Utah State University (BS degree), Arizona State University, University of Utah (MS degree) and Brooks School of Photography in Santa Barbara, California.
Mark served an LDS Church mission to New Zealand (1954-56). On July 20, 1956, Mark married Luree Condie in the St. George LDS Temple. Mark and Luree had been engaged for nearly three years. Almost immediately following his marriage Mark was drafted into the US Army taking basic training at Fort Hood, Texas and later being transferred to Fort Bliss, Texas where he served in the 162nd Army band as a trumpet player.
Mark taught school for more than thirty-five years: in Cedar City, Utah Jr. High School, Logan, Utah Jr. High School, Newark and Memorial High Schools in California, Ohlone College in Fremont, California, and as a substitute teacher in Hayward, California. His specialty subjects were biology and photography. For several years Mark taught early morning seminary for the LDS Church.
Mark and Luree lived in Cedar City, Utah; El Paso, Texas; Logan, Utah; Tempe, Arizona; Salt Lake City, Utah; Fremont, Carpinteria, Dublin and Cameron Park, California; and Sandy, Utah.
Mark supported himself and family in various types of employment. In his youth and teenage years, he worked on his father’s farm and for farmers in Delta. After graduating from High School, he worked as a “gandy dancer” for the Union Pacific Railroad. While attending BAC in Cedar City he worked the morning shift of the college heat plant. During the 1951 and 1952 summers Mark worked as a bellhop at Zion Lodge in Zion National Park. Later, in 1960 he drove a tour bus through Zion, Grand Canyon and Bryce National Parks for Utah Parks Company. He worked part-time at Sears Department store selling shoes. Mark was a wedding photographer for several years. On weekends Mark and Luree sold photographs and other ware at art fairs. For several years (in the 1970s), Mark was a real estate agent in the Fremont, CA area. However, Mark’s long-time employment was that of schoolteacher.
A faithful member of the LDS Church, Mark served in many leadership and teaching positions including that of Ward Bishop. Perhaps his most enjoyable calling was that of Family History Consultant where he helped numerous people research their ancestors. Through the years, Mark collected family stories and photographs and took many photographs of family members. This enabled him to publish more than twenty books (some with Luree’s help), documenting the lives of family members. However, one of his earliest publications was the “Harris Solution to Rubik’s Cube” (1981) which he had learned to solve in the evenings after work. He then taught Luree and his children how to solve the cube, who in turn taught their children. So, at family gatherings one of the main events was to have a Rubik’s Cube solving contest. Another early publication was “Mark’s Little Joke Book” a compilation of the 400 best jokes that he ever heard. Coming from a family of story tellers, stories and jokes were told by many family members at family gatherings. In recent years Mark created and published numerous calendars that display a wide variety of his photographs. Probably his most significant and final publication was a book about the life of his mother, Cora (2021).
Through the years, Mark was the lead person in organizing family reunions.
After retiring in 1996, Mark and Luree taught English in China through BYU China Teachers Program for two years; first at Shandong Teachers College in Jinan (1996-1997) and later at Qingdao University in Qingdao (1999-2000). This teaching adventure was the perfect assignment for both Mark and Luree, which combined their long teaching and church service experiences. In 2003 Mark and Luree served a short-term LDS Charities mission in Belgrade, Serbia, following which they toured England and Scotland, home to some of their ancestors.
Mark is survived by his five children: Kayelyn (Gary) Merrill, Sandy, Utah; David, Roseville, California; Lynette (Scott) Kendall, Orem, Utah; Russell (Patricia), Pittsburg, California; and Janice (Bruce) Hoff, San Ramon, California. Mark is also survived by siblings: Robert, Delta, Utah, and Fran Cummins, Honolulu, HI. Mark was preceded in death by his wife, Luree; siblings, Edward, Anna Beth, John, Rex and his parents. He has 14 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 17, at 10:30 am, at the Pinecrest Chapel, 2080 Pinecrest Lane, Sandy, Utah. A viewing will be held 9:00-10:10 prior to the service. Family and friends unable to attend are invited to view the recorded video of the service.. Interment will be at 4:00pm at the Delta City Cemetery with full military honors.