Basil Harris Jr.

Basil Harris, Jr., 69, husband of Mary Werner Harris, passed away peacefully at home in Brookline, New Hampshire on Sunday, January 15, 2017 surrounded by his wife and children.

Born in New York, New York, and raised in Rye, NY, he was the eldest son of the late Dr. Basil Harris and Marie Murray Harris.

Basil attended Fairfield Preparatory School, graduated from the University of Toronto, Saint Michael’s College, and received his Master of Education degree from the University of New Hampshire. As an educator, he was a founding teacher of The Salisbury School in Maryland, taught locally at Thorntons Ferry School in Merrimack, NH, and served on the school boards of both Brookline and Hollis, NH. He later transitioned to the field of high technology, employed by several companies and working as a consultant within the New Hampshire and Massachusetts region. He stayed youthful on the golf links and ski slopes and was well-loved for his quick wit and easy humor. He played guitar and sang as cantor for over 20 years at St. John Neumann Catholic Community in Merrimack, NH, was a music volunteer for hospice patients and their families in the community, and was an active member of the Hollis-Brookline Rotary Club, where he served as president from 2006 -2007. His voice touched the lives of many through song and guitar-playing cultivated over a lifetime of passion for music.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son Basil Harris, IV and his wife Gillian

Jorgensen of Seattle, WA, as well as his daughter Jesse Harris and her husband Alexandre Rolland of Montreal, Québec. He is also survived by 3 granddaughters, 8 brothers and sisters (and predeceased by one sister), 15 in-laws, and 23 nieces and nephews.

A service in celebration of his life will be held in the spring.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations in his honor be made to the HollisBrookline Rotary Club online at or by mail at P.O. Box 1592, Hollis, NH 03049.