A celebration of Michael’s life will be held on Friday, April 20, from 4 to 7 at The Parks and Recreation Center, 500 Cascade Place,
Michael Thomas Harris, 65, of Taft, California, after a brave fight with brain cancer, died peacefully with his loving family by his side on April 16, 2012
Michael was born on February 14, 1947, to Thomas Samuel Harris and Odetta Nevada Brumm Harris, in Burlington, Iowa. He graduated from Monrovia High School where he played baseball and was in the band. He earned his bachelor’s degree in the arts, and his master’s degree in administration at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. Michael earned his doctorate in education from University of LaVern.
He married Lisa Merle Gottschalk, an educator, in 1976. They raised two children, Thomas Robert Michael Harris of Bakersfield, CA, a Kern County Deputy Sherriff, and Danielle Marie Harris of Bakersfield, CA, a Junior College Professor.
Michael was a proud public school employee in Simi Valley, CA and Taft, CA. He was a teacher, Principal, Superintendent. He always tried to do what was best for the children. He taught at University of LaVern in their Master’s and Doctorial Programs proudly helping to shape the future leaders in education. Michael enjoyed playing golf, fishing, and being at his cabin in Mammoth Lakes, CA with his family. He was an active member of Taft’s Kiwanis Club and CASA of Kern in Bakersfield, CA.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 35 years, Lisa Merle Gottschalks Harris, and his son Thomas Robert Michael Harris and daughter Danielle Marie Harris; his sister Mary Lynne Harris Lanning and brother-in-law Preston Thomas Lanning; his brother-in-law Gordon Worra; his niece Debbie Worra; his nephew Dean Worra and his wife Kim Worra; his sister and brother-in –law Shelley Lynn Gottschalk Hitchcock and Charles Hitchcock; his brother-in-law Steven Raymond Gottschalk; his niece Catherine Stephanie Pease-Gottschalk LeChot (Jason and son Cason); and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins in Iowa. He will be greatly missed by his walking partners Allie, Minnie T., Zoey and Ziggy.
He was preceded in death by his parents Thomas Samuel Harries and Odetta Nevada Brumm Harris, and his sister Patricia Elizabeth Harris Worra.
Please join us in a celebration of Michael’s life on Friday, April 20, from 4 – 7 at The Parks and Recreation Center, 500 Cascade Place, Taft, CA 93268.
The family requests that donations be made to CASA of Kern in Bakersfield, CA.