Janet Harris

Obituary of Janet Arlene Harris

Janet Arlene Harris was born on August 19, 1940, in Lima, Ohio, the daughter of Mary Eileen (Rockhold) Harris and Claude Arthur Harris. She passed away on June19, 2021, at Holladay Park Plaza in Portland, Oregon, surrounded by loved ones.

Janet worked in the family’s grocery business, Harris IGA, from the time she was old enough to stock shelves, dust, and sweep floors. At 16, she left the family business to work as a phlebotomist at a local hospital in Lima, Ohio. Janet was a graduate of Lima Senior High School in 1958 and received her B.S. from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio. She went on to receive her M.S. in 1964 and her PhD in physiology in 1971, both from the University of Illinois, Urbana. Before her doctoral program, Jan was hired as an instructor at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, a school founded at the end of the Civil War by the 62nd and 65th Colored Infantry divisions for the education of freed African Americans. This was her first taste of teaching and she loved it.

In her work at the University of Illinois College of Medicine (1971-1975), she was a member of the faculty of the School of Basic Medical Sciences, Urbana-Champaign. Jan joined the faculty of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland in 1978 as associate professor of anatomy and became president of the institution in 1981. In 1983 she took a position as Dean of Basic Medical Sciences and Associate Professor of Physiology & Anatomy at John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine in Seattle, where she continued to teach until 1989 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. She went on to teach anatomy at Western States Chiropractic College in Portland from 1989 until she retired in 2005 as Professor Emerita from the chair of the Division of Basic Sciences.

Jan was loved by her family, colleagues, and friends. She was inspirational, playful, and gave all of herself to those she loved. Many of her friendships lasted a lifetime. Some of those friends preceded her in death, and others were by her side until her last days. Jan’s friends were beyond special to her. Also special to her were her nephew, Matthew, and her great-nephew, Arden. Loving them was one of the greatest joys of her life.

Janet is survived by two brothers, David L. (Sheryl) Harris of West Chester, Ohio, and Paul D. (Cathy) of Lima, Ohio; a sister, Lynn A. (Michael) Scott of Fair Haven, New Jersey; multiple nieces and nephews, their spouses, and many loving friends. She is now reunited in Heaven with her brother and his wife, James A (Leslie) Harris and her parents, Claude A. and Mary Eileen Harris.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Janet to Holladay Park Plaza, 1300 NE 16th Ave., Portland, Oregon. 97232, and designated either for the “Resident Assistance Trust” or for the “Employee Scholarship Fund”. Please make checks payable to “Holladay Park Plaza” and then designate the preferred account in the memo line of your check.

A Zoom celebration of Jan’s life, will take place on Sunday, July 11th at 2:00 p.m. PST, 5:00 p.m. EST. You can register to attend the memorial service @ https://www.firstunitarianportland.org/harris




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Zoom Celebration of Jan's Life

A Zoom celebration of Jan’s life, will take place on Sunday, July 11th at 2:00 p.m. PST, 5:00 p.m. EST. You can register in advance to attend the memorial service. To register for the Memorial, please click on the link at the bottom of Jan's obituary in the text above.
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