William Robert (Bill) Harriff, was born May 22, 1944 to Richard Calvin and Blanche Audrey Harriff. He passed away October 14, 2013 in Adelaide, South Australia. He grew up on the Ohio/Pennsylvania border, and his entire childhood was spent in the Midwest. Bill graduated from Muncie Central High School in Muncie, Ind., and after high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. Following his service, Bill returned to Muncie and enrolled in Ball State University, where he earned a degree in Political Science.
After college, Bill migrated west, and worked at the Oregon School for the Blind in Salem, where he developed a passion for both the outdoors and working with the visually impaired. He returned to graduate school at the University of Northern Colorado, where he leveraged his love of the outdoors by making and selling custom camping, backpacking, clothing, and equipment to help pay for school. After earning a Masters in Special Education, he worked with blind students in Seattle, Wash. and Bangor, Maine before settling in Ashland, Ore.
Bill worked with visually impaired students throughout southern Oregon for several years before turning other hobbies into other full time businesses first woodworking and later information technology.
Bill and his partner of 33 years, Kristine Davis, first spent time in Adelaide in 1990, as part of a teacher exchange. They returned to Adelaide in 2011 to again work with the visually impaired, where Bill took up bicycle touring as a hobby. Bill was completing a 500 mile solo bike tour to raise funds for children's cancer research when he was struck by a vehicle.
He is survived by Kris; his son, Seth Harriff of Portland, Ore.; brother, Richard Harriff of Solana Beach, Calif.; sister, Judith Uherbelau of Ashland, Ore.; grandchildren, and nieces and nephews across the United States.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Children's Medical Research Institute via the web at
To send condolances to Kristine, you may email her at: