1919 - 2013
Harris Bowman Dalbec was born in Worcester, Mass., August 23, 1919, to Percy R. and Olive Clough Dalbec. He passed away June 23, 2013, at the Rogue Valley Manor Health Center in Medford, Ore.
When Harris was just one year old, the family moved to Contoocook, N.H., where he learned farming techniques until the family sold the farm and moved to Santa Ana, Calif. Harris celebrated his 16th birthday en-route to Santa Ana.
Harris graduated from Santa Ana High School, attended Santa Ana Junior College and went on to Chapman College. His studies at Chapman were interrupted by four and a half years of service in World War II.
While serving in the U.S. Army at a chemical warfare camp in Gadsden, Ala., Harris met Myrtle Richardson, who was working at the camp. They married October 6, 1943, in Santa Ana. Myrtle stayed at the camp teaching the soldiers how to figure their payroll when Harris was sent to Europe. He was part of the group cut off in the Siege of Bastogne in December 1944, rescued by General George C. Patton.
Harris chose not to reenlist and returned to Chapman College where he worked hard and took courses at University of Southern California, Pepperdine, and California State College at Long Beach. He graduated from Chapman in 1947.
He then went on to New York University, where he earned a Masters' degree in only nine months. The cold weather drove him and Myrtle back to California in 1948. He felt that he could learn more through teaching than he could through more book learning.
He went to work teaching at Fremont High School in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, where he taught for 26 years, including the time of the riots in 1965. When he retired, he and Myrtle lived in Los Osos, Calif., from where they travelled extensively, especially by car, seeing all of the lower 48. They moved to the Rogue Valley Manor in Medford, Ore., in 1995.
Harris enjoyed lapidary work and making glass beads and wire-wrapped jewelry. He created some exceptional needlepoint pieces, machine-knitted sweaters and hundreds of caps for kids. He also enjoyed SCUBA diving and held a SCUBA certificate for more than 46 years.
Tragically, the Dalbec's only child, Dorothy, was killed in an automobile accident in North Carolina in 1973. Harris is survived by his wife, Myrtle; and his granddaughter, Jennifer.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the medical transportation fund of the Rogue Valley Manor Foundation, 1200 Mira Mar, Medford, OR 97504. No services will be held at this time.