Obituary: James Carr Harris Jr
James Carr Harris Jr, 87, passed away peacefully on March 16, 2020, at Grand River Hospital in Rifle, Colorado with his daughter, Tina by his side. He entered joyously into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jim was born on March 1, 1933, to Pearl Smith and James Harris Sr. in Aguilar, Colorado. He was born into a mining family, the 4th of 5 children, and spent his childhood in Aguilar, Paonia, Palisade, finally ending up in Gunnison, Colorado. He graduated high school in Gunnison and joined the Air Force where he spent 4 years serving his country. Jim returned to Gunnison where he married Dixie Stott and they had 2 children, Tina and Wayne. After a short time living in Gunnison, the family moved to Carbondale. Unfortunately, Jim and Dixie would part ways in early 1970. Jim continued to live in Carbondale working as a carpenter. He would start his own construction company in 1979 and would construct many homes throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, Rifle and Parachute area. Jim met Maryan Pharo in 1988 in Grand Junction and they would marry in Granby in May, 1994. Shortly after they both retired, they moved to Granby where Jim remodeled Maryan’s family cabin that overlooked the lake. They lived there happily, taking time to explore their home state of Colorado often taking hikes, biking, or cross country skiing. Many stopped by for a visit at their home on the lake, where they enjoyed a cup of coffee and a visit. Their home was a gathering place for friends and family. In the early 2000s, Jim and Maryan began camp-hosting in the campgrounds of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona during the winter months. They enjoyed exploring new areas, socializing and making new friends. They made life-long friends that kept in touch through the years by phone or stopping by for a cup of coffee or a short stay. Due to an illness in late 2014, Jim & Maryan relocated to Battlement Mesa, CO. They enjoyed the milder winters, warmer weather, and the closeness of family. Maryan passed away in October of 2016 and Jim mourned her loss each day for the rest of his life. He never quite got over the loss of his best friend. Jim enjoyed many jobs over the years. His roots were in the mining industry. He spent many years doing different jobs in mining from loading coal into the cars to delivering and unloading coal to customers. He also held jobs as a truck driver, ski lift operator, ranch hand, a short stint as a ‘cowboy’, and the one that he was known best, a master carpenter. After he retired, he also found a love for woodworking and became a craftsman with a bandsaw and scroll saw. Many friends and family have enjoyed the benefits of his handy work through his handmade wooden gifts. He loved to share the items he made with others. Jim loved his family and boasted often to friends about them. We will remember him as an ornery sort that was known to speak his mind. He gave of himself to others generously and without pause. His faith was strong and he loved his Lord and was never afraid to share his faith with others. Jim is survived by a daughter, Tina (Dale) Bingman, Silt, CO and a son, Wayne (Pam) Harris, Grand Junction, CO; brother, David (Anita) Harris, Greeley, CO; Step-daughters Diane Rickstrew, Debeque, CO and Lynn Collins, Pueblo, CO; Granddaughters, Amanda Bingman, Jessica Proctor, Annika O’Rourke, Kourtney Gilliam, and Hannah Harris; Grandsons, Zachary Bingman and Robert Harris, 7 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews that he loved so much. Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Maryan Pharo; parents, Pearl (Smith) and James Harris, Sr.; sisters, Joyce Messer and June Perusek; and brother William Harris. was surrounded by a close-knit group of friends that cared deeply for him. The family extends their deepest heartfelt gratitude to Ted and Betty Birdsill, Rich Reynolds, Marty Thompson, Pam Keller, and Debra Fick and the many others who called on him daily. A celebration of life for Jim is postponed to an unknown date due to the current pandemic. Once a date has been set, the family will reach out with details.
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Rocky Mountain National Park closed Trail Ridge Road to through traffic on Monday for the remainder of the season.