Our Shared Loss, David Harris Class of 2008

David Harris ’08 died recently while hiking in the Pacific Northwest. We have been in contact with his family, and will be circulating more information, including notification of memorial plans, as soon as it is available.

My heart goes out to David’s family and friends at this very difficult time.

I want to make sure that readers are aware of the Memorial Service in New York mentioned below:

New York Culture Center, SGI-USA(212.727.7715)
7 East 15th St., New York, NY 10003 US
When: Thursday, August 14, 6:30PM

David, as many have said in the last several days, was a person of extraordinary generosity, energy and talent. Through his volunteer efforts, his campus activities, his activism, and his exuberance, David spread joy, light and kindness all around him. His sudden death is a profound shock to his friends and family. As we come to terms with this loss, we try to make the memory of his diverse contributions a blessing for the future.

[tags] David Haris, Class of 2008, memorial service [/tags]

13 thoughts on “Our Shared Loss, David Harris Class of 2008”

  1. Please let us know if there are services in NYC.
    Lily sang w David in the Celebration Chorus and they both attended Hunter College HS as well as Wes. Tragic loss.

  2. Although I did not know David personally, my heart goes out to his greiving family, especially Mrs. Hunter-Daniel, who I currently work for. I know David held a special place in her heart, and that she will continue to celebrate his vivacious spirit.

  3. I am the parent of a Wes ’08 graduate, so I was shocked and saddened to read of David’s death in my morning copy of The Oregonian newspaper. My heart goes out to his family and friends who must endure the special pain of losing one so young and full of promise. I hope they can take some comfort in knowing that he died on Neahkahnie Mountain, one of the most beautiful outlooks above the Pacific Ocean. If he was seeking to experience the glories and powers of nature, he was in the right place. I will think of him next time I hike there.

  4. Services for David Harris will be held at:

    New York Culture Center, SGI-USA(212.727.7715)
    7 East 15th St., New York, NY 10003 US
    When: Thursday, August 14, 6:30PM
    Phone: David’s Mother(Sheila) cell 917.446.1440

    Please join the Harris Family (Sheila, David, Sr. and Todd) in celebrating the life of David L.Harris, Jr.

    Hiking in the North Oregon Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain on a popular majestic trail, David was struck by a fallen tree limb of a 100-150 year old tree. The velocity of the branch ended his life instantly & David is at peace.

  5. David was a student in my most recent class of ‘newbies’ at AAA Oregon/Idaho. I remember vividly his last day of employment as he walked into the training room and advise me that he had decided to resign in order to take the opportunity to explore Oregon. I encouraged him to live his dreams, he gave me a big hug and said that he would never forget me. I in turn told him that he too was unforgettable. From the moment I met David, I recognized this light from within – he was indeed flourescent. Beautiful and precious is how I remember him, that face, that smile, the exuberent quest for life – the frame work of a perfect young man. David, in your absence, thoughts of you will be stronger, deeper and warmer than ever before. I’ll always smile thinking of your smile. Thank you for being a part of my journey. PEACE be with you.

  6. Everytime I ran into David, I knew just what to expect. It was all smiles all the time… Coming out of the campus center, going to Traverse Square, or weekend nights hopping from one friend’s house to the next… I could always count on a big, “Hey, Tashia!” Some days, I met him back with the same amount of energy, and on others, he made my day. I’m sure he didn’t realize it, but for simply that, I will always remember him and smile. I celebrate his life and the meaning and joy he brought to so many. I’m sure. My prayers go out to David, his family and the rest of his friends.

  7. I too am a ’08 parent but also an employee of Wesleyan. I was lucky enough to get to know David through the SOC Program. He was an energetic person who loved life and Wesleyan. The Wesleyan community and I personally will truly miss him. My heart felt condolences go out to his family.

  8. I met David thru AAA training class. He had a wonderful zest for life. Everyone’s life he touched he left a smile, David will be missed by everyone.

  9. For the very brief time David was in my life, I knew him to be a warm, funny, decent, creative person. His clear affection for playing the base made him a natural for Portland’s off-beat, eclectic music scene. I told him about our Fourth of July riverfront blues festival, and he took to it like an (Oregon) duck to water. David didn’t hesitate to catch the scent of so many of the clubs in town to sample all that energy and music to share. I truly thought he could find a home here. Now, taken from us so far, far before his time, I can only extend my deepest sympathies to his family. I, like many who met him, count him among my friends, and he will be sorely missed.

  10. I knew Dave from work before I knew him from school although we were in the same year at Wesleyan. I met him through working at the Community Health Center last summer. We did outreach work in the communities, mostly low-income and public housing areas, where the CHC was setting up new health care programs. He was a wonderful communicator and very open and warm. He was so good at talking to kids in the neighborhoods, getting to know them and their parents. He was great to work with and I learned a lot from him. We walked around for hours together at work and afterwards and I’ll never forget the conversations we had. It’s hard to explain here, but Dave was definitely on a spiritual journey. He was motivated, energetic, intellectually curious, considerate, and passionate about life. He was also very interested in social justice and it was about that subject that we had some of our best conversations. Dave was also a great musician and had a wonderful creative side. At night after work, we played music together. Some evenings we’d walk down to the river in Middletown and play outside. Dave was such an amazingly positive person and a joy to be around. I don’t know how to explain it, but he was able to turn almost any negative situation around. If you said something negative or remarked on something that bothered you, Dave could take that and make you see it in a new way. He was an inspiring person. I find Dave’s death devastating because I know that he would have done so much good in our world. Dave was remarkable in so many ways and I know that his memory will live on in the people he knew and loved.

  11. Our daughter Tanya was in David’s class at Hunter and again at Wesleyan. We knew David since middle school and attended many of his concerts in high school. We felt a special connection as Don also played string bass in high school and had conversations through the years with David about music as well as his other interests. We were terribly saddened to learn of the tragedy of his death. Unfortunately we will not be able to attend the memorial service, as we will be out of the country. Could someone provide us with an address where we may write to his family?

  12. Sheila sent me a picture of herself pregnant with David and I feel as if I’ve known him since then, although I didn’t know him well. The last time I saw him, he was, as people have noted on this site, glowing. I was visiting Sheila in Manhattan and David was off to some Scout function, I think. Sheila, the most loving, hands-on mother I’ve seen, was giving marching orders. A little friend was visiting and Sheila made sure he had an instrument to practice. I joked that I was leaving before I ended up with an assignment just for being in the way.
    I never imagined that I wouldn’t get to know David as an adult and my heart and prayers are with Sheila, Todd and everyone whose life he touched.

  13. Dave was so genuine all the time. He was very self-aware, present, and positive. While it was extremely shocking, dizzying even, to hear news of his death, he passed on in a majestic place doing exactly what he wanted to do. We all can only hope for such an ending in this earthly life. My prayers go out to his closest friends and family.

Comments are closed.