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Menlo Park: Community activist Harry Harrison dies at 91

Original post made on Dec 23, 2013

Longtime local developer, Menlo Park political figure and community activist Harry Harrison died Sunday at age 91.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 23, 2013, 11:56 AM

Comments (8)

Posted by Phil Scott, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Harry Harrison will be missed. He served on the West Bay Sanitary District Board for 8 years and was always a joy. As the story indicates he had a great wit and terrific sense of humor. When we had problems with a particular sewer line he used to joke "maybe that was one I installed". He was a delight and I will always cherish the good fortune I had to have known him.

Phil Scott
District Manager
West Bay Sanitary District


Posted by Rini, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

I have had the pleasure of knowing Harry since 1988 when I would see him at city hall when he was on the planning commission. He was always respective of our time and always had a joke to tell. He would always share a story or two with me as well. He will greatly missed by many, as he has touched so many lives.


Posted by Mary Rached, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Harry was a devoted volunteer at Peninsula Volunteers Little House for many years. He had great enthusiasm, a wonderful sense of humor, and many stories to tell of Menlo Park history. He will be missed by the other volunteers,staff and members at Little House.


Posted by Marcy Magatelli, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Harry was an Ambassador for Menlo Park! When I started my retail business, in 1990, he was on the Planning Commission and knew what a difficult time I was having; he would make a point of stopping in to see how I was doing and give me encouragement. He was such a sweetheart! His thoughtfulness will always be remembered. I do believe his was a life well lived


Posted by Stu Soffer, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Dec 26, 2013 at 9:53 am

Stu Soffer is a registered user.

Harry was a great, energetic community volunteer.


Posted by Marian Kelly, a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Dec 27, 2013 at 9:53 am

I have three photos of Harry, circa 1977 wearing construction garb while he rebuilt our Ladera home with the help of his son and an architect friend. If anyone can use these 8 x 10, b & w pictures, I'm happy to share. Our house burned at the end of 1976....totally destroyed. I've never known what Harry chose NOT to do so that he could help us out, but we couldn't have found a more trustworthy, competent, careful contractor. Sometimes a but crusty but always a delight. Harry and Barbara then left Ladera and I've seen him only occasionally since then. From other comments it sounds like he subsequently did a great deal of "building" in Menlo Park...I'm not surprised.


Posted by Carol Harrison, a resident of another community
on Jan 6, 2014 at 12:53 pm

It sounds like Menlo Park will miss my uncle as much as I will. Yes, he could be crusty and opinionated, but he was also a vibrant lover of life who was generous with his time, always had a story to share, and remained fully involved in his community throughout his life. He was a model for healthy aging in that he remained connected, optimistic and forward-looking even as the loss of friends and mobility mounted. My favorite childhood vacations involved Santa Cruz and Aptos, where he built many a place during his distinguished career. I still remember the pride when he visited all his homes after the quake about 20 years back and announced them fit and unscathed. He is another of the World War II generation that believed hard work and service to others were fundamental to living a good life. I will miss him, and I thank him for the example he set in terms of resilience and retiring from work, not life.


Posted by Gail Slocum, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jan 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Harry really cared very deeply about Menlo Park, and let his actions show that by do so much over many decades to make our town a better place. Even though he and I sometimes disagreed on issues, he always had a good sense of humor and, with a twinkle in his eye,added the personal touch -- bringing a little more "humanity" into difficult meetings.
One memorable thing we worked together on was when I co-chaired the Measure T campaign to improve our parks and rec facilities. Harry's efforts on that bi-partisan team were critically important to our getting well over the required 2/3 vote.
Harry is no doubt up in heaven finding ways to work to make IT even better!
G-d bless you Harry for a life well lived. Rest in peace. May your memory be a blessing and inspiration for us all.


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