Oct. 9, 2016
C. Grandon Harris, 76, of Bayfield, died suddenly Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 following heart surgery.
Grandon was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the older son of Chapin and Mary Harris. He grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, and was educated at Berwick Academy, Bates College, New England College, and Andover Newton Theological School. He was an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, an environmentalist, and a photographer.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Dorothy; his two daughters: Elizabeth Entile of Batavia, Illinois, Leah Harris-Musack (Loren) of Missoula, Montana; his brother, David, Janice of Eagle River; and his four grandchildren: Rachael and Alexandra Granger, and Elliott and Spencer Harris-Musack. He was preceded in death by his parents, Chapin and Mary Harris and his younger sister, Debbie (Ivan) Mount.
Grandon and his wife, Dorothy were called to serve the Ponca Creek UCC in the South Dakota Rosebud Sioux community of Milk’s Camp in 1967 following his completion of seminary. There his two daughters were born; he pastored the tiny church and worked extensively with youth. Because the need for jobs was so great, Gran’s ministry became one of developing employment. With the community, he developed a community-owned cooperative, Milk’s Camp Industries, which first manufactured and sold nationally Indian novelty tom-toms and later assembled and recycled products for 3M and other companies. Grandon was awarded The Peace Pipe Award in 1975 by the US Depart. of Commerce (Indian Affairs) for his work.
Grandon and his family left their beloved Dakota community in 1980 relocating to northern Wisconsin. There he concentrated on environmental and peace issues and built a passive-solar envelope home. As a lay member of the Park Falls UCC, he chaired the building committee which raised half a million dollars to make the church universally accessible and oversaw the construction of this project. He worked for Jim Saunders Wood Specialties for 12 years.
In 2005 Grandon and Dot retired to Bayfield, where he immediately involved himself in the Bayfield Presbyterian Church, the Bayfield Regional Conservancy, and the Bayfield Tree Board. A life-long photographer, he shared his photos with the community and church. His family and friends remember him with either a camera or tool in his hand.
A memorial service will be held Friday, Oct. 14 at the Bayfield Presbyterian Church, visitation at 1 p.m. with a service to follow at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers his family requests donations to the Bayfield Regional Conservancy or an environmental project close to your heart.