Stanley E. Harris, Jr. ~ Carbondale
Stanley E. Harris, Jr. died peacefully at home in Carbondale, Illinois, on October 19, 2020 where he lived with his partner Clara
McClure, and other members of his extended family.
Stanley was born March 5, 1918, at his grandfather’s house, Orchard Farm, in Basking Ridge, NJ. His parents, Stanley E. Harris and
Margaret Roberts Harris, were married just after his father graduated from Princeton University, and two weeks before he sailed on a troop ship for France in WWI. His grandfather Roberts, his “Pa”, became Stanley’s role model.
As a child (age 7-11), the family lived in Beirut, Lebanon, where his father was staff doctor at the American University of Beirut.
Stan and his family visited many historic sites in the Near East. In the summers of 1928 and ‘29, the family traveled by car through Europe as Stanley Sr. visited many medical facilities.
Academically, Stanley, Jr. prepared for college at the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia, PA. At Princeton University he received
a BA degree in Geology, Magna Cum Laude.
Stan was physically small but athletic. He first played soccer in Beirut and then at Episcopal Academy where he was team captain during
his senior year. At Princeton he received a “Major P” as the soccer team won championships in his sophomore and senior years.
Soon after graduation Stan married Jane Morgan Powers. They set up housekeeping in Iowa City where he earned a MS and PhD in Geology
at the University of Iowa. He was employed by the Iowa Geological Survey studying well cuttings of the geologic formations in order to identify ground water sources. After his graduate education, Stan accepted a position on the faculty at the University
of Missouri, Columbia. This experience convinced him that college teaching was his passion. Stan then joined the faculty of the Geography-Geology Department at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. As the first geologist at SIU he began to develop a
Geology program. After adding two more faculty members, a separate Geology Department was established in 1955, with Stan as chairman. He stepped down from the chairmanship in 1966, continuing to teach and do research until retirement in 1982.
Stan was appointed to the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission in the mid-70’s and participated in the first inventory of natural
areas in the state. Field work with botanists brought about a special interest in prairies, which continued until his death. He established, with help from friends, a 4-acre prairie adjacent to his home in Carbondale. This is bequeathed to Green Earth,
a local conservation organization.
Two of Stan’s publications have been of particular interest. The first, “Caves of Illinois,” was jointly authored with J. Harlen
Bretz and published by the Illinois Geologic Survey as a Report of Investigations 215 in 1961. The second was “Exploring the Land and Rocks of Southern Illinois” published by the S.I.U. Press in 1977.
Stan’s wife Jane was a wonderful companion and mother. In retirement he was active in Audubon and Sierra Club. He particularly enjoyed
participating in “Learning in Retirement” as both student and teacher. Stan and Jane shared a love of travel (including a year in Germany) and an avocation of birding. She died in 1995 after 55 years of marriage. After her passing, Stan shared the rest
of his life with Clara McClure, whom he also dearly loved. They, too, enjoyed traveling, especially with Elderhostel. Stan regularly led field trips about Southern Illinois geology in the fall and wildflowers in the spring with Clara. For many years he
hosted family gatherings and celebrations at his house and was known as “Pa” to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Stan was a man of science with a deep and generous commitment to humanity. Throughout his life he worked to improve his community,
from mentoring youth and felons to serving on the Carbondale Planning Commission and helping found Green Earth. He participated in the Civil Rights Movement, Anti-Vietnam War Protests and the beginning of the ecology awakening. Stan was a proud liberal who
believed that by thoughtfully working together we can make the world a better place for everyone. He was a member of the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship.
During the final years of Stan’s life, his granddaughter Marion and her family lived with him, allowing him to stay at home. He is
survived by his companion Clara McClure of Carbondale, IL; sister Virginia Barrett of White Plains, NY; son-in-law Ed Zinn of Toledo, OH, (preceded in death by daughter Barbara) and their son David Zinn and wife Nichole and their son Alex of Sacramento, CA,
and daughter Cynthia Meisel and husband Eric and their twins Noah and Grace and son Liam of Columbus, OH; daughter Carolyn Horecker (preceded in death by her children, Teresa Watkins and Charles Horecker), her daughter Rebecca Shirrell and her husband Eric,
and their children Matthew, Jessica, Rachel, Gabe, Joseph Horecker and fiancé Mercedes
Lang of Cape Girardeau, MO, her son David Horecker of Anna, IL; his daughter Janet Harris, her daughter Margaret-Jane Adams and her husband Ethan Owens of Murphysboro, IL, her daughter Marion Adams-Sai and her husband Mustapha and their children Matine and
Kadir of Carbondale, IL, her daughter Alice Wougamon of Carbondale and daughter Nita Jane and son Micah; his son David Harris and his wife Kathy of Orion, IL and their children Evan Harris and wife Kelly and their children Lennon and Sage of Preemption, IL,
Jonathan Harris and his companion Rachel and children Justice and her daughter Mela and Mason of Rock Island, IL, Laura Albright, husband Andrew and son Deacon of Davenport, IA.
Burial will be private. There will be a large celebration of life at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship next year after the Covid
pandemic is over. Memorial donations may be made in his name to the Stan and Jane Harris Geology Fund at the SIU Foundation, Green Earth, Sierra Club or to an environmental charity
of the donor’s choice.
Walker Funeral Home & Crematory of Southern Illinois entrusted with arrangements.