Family and friends will gather next month to remember “Reg” Harris, and are sharing this remembrance with his community:
John Reginald Harris, Jr., MD
1960 – 2021
Storyteller, musician, physician, photographer, collector, writer, lover of all things technical; husband, father, son, uncle, and friend were John Reginald Harris, Jr., MD. He made everyone felt listened to, genuinely interested in their story, and could take complicated subjects and explain in easily, comprehensible ways. He leaves behind a legacy worthy of a thousand men.
As an adult, he was known by his middle name, Reg; as a youth, he was little Reggie to his father’s big Reggie. He was born on February 25, 1960 in Richmond, Virginia to John Reginald Harris, Sr. and Catherine Hicks Harris, both of whom proceeded him in death. Reg was released from our world, peacefully, in Bellevue on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2021 under hospice care from the cruel disease of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s, which he had been battling for nearly a decade.
Reg graduated from Jefferson High School in Richmond, Virginia in 1978; graduated with a BS degree, Summa Cum Laude from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1981; graduated from Medical College of Virginia (part of Virginia Commonwealth) in Richmond, Virginia in 1985; University of Washington Residency, Seattle in 1988. He married the love of his life, Patricia DuBois Harris in 1997 in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii. Reg is also survived by his sons, Cade and Blake (both studying and living in Seattle); in-laws Clint and Elizabeth DuBois (Issaquah), Charlotte DuBois (Bremerton), and nephews Clay and Rowan DuBois; sister Judy B. Harris (Richmond, VA), numerous cousins, family, and friends; also preceded in death by his beloved Sheltie, Jean-Luc.
He finished first in his freshman class (awarded the Phi Beta Kappa, Alain Locke Award) in his BSMD program. After finishing Medical School (inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and awarded Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Merit Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Leadership and Service) and matching at the University of Washington Residency program, his mother cried about him going as far away as possible from Richmond, Virginia. He loved Seattle and the West Coast. In 1988 he began working at Swedish Medical Center Emergency Department in Seattle. He was an ER doc working nights, and during the days he would work on his music and videos/movies. He started Omniscient Productions to work on his creative ideas in 1992 while still working at the ER. He and Patricia have lived in West Seattle since 1990.
Music was important. He sang in his church youth choir, and later joined Madrigals in high school. He was a DJ in high school and participated in the radio club. He created his own hyper-local neighborhood radio station using CB radios in which he played music, until his parents received a cease-and-desist notification from the FCC for an unauthorized station. He wrote and recorded his music. He played guitar, bass, and keyboard. He loved writing and singing his songs. He would serenade Patricia for hours.
Reg was a collector of numerous things. He loved collecting and using his fountain and ballpoint pens. Letters were written to Patricia using specific pens and nibs. He enjoyed collecting and wearing watches. He made a point of wearing a different watch when Cade and Blake were born, so that they could keep that specific watch. And ask about our DVD, CD, and vinyl record collections.
Photography became a passion as another way to tell stories. He enjoyed taking photos but as the perfectionist and procrastinator, it took time for him to share with those he loved. He was always learning new things, taught himself how to write computer code, and embraced technology. And there always were his stories. He created movies before iMovie and other platforms made it easy. He was an early adopter of Media 100 in the 1990s and was given the Vision Award. He wrote, produced, and created the video and materials to help people navigate personal finances: Beyond Savings. He wrote numerous magazine articles. His beloved Sheltie, Jean-Luc (he was a HUGE Sci-Fi fan) was the star of The Jean-Luc Chronicles series of movies.
Reg always had so many stories running through his head and expressed these through music, video, or print. He kept a journal of his ideas for stories with summaries for each. He often bounced one from another: Ben the Fire Engine for younger kids, The Strange and Exotic Tales of the Messy Pirates who visited after Christmas, Seven Minutes, His Story, The Medical Officer, and so many more. His memory will live on through his stories, photos, and music. We miss and love you always.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, July 8th, at 2 pm at Holy Rosary Church in West Seattle. A Celebration of Life will be held at Good Society Brewery after Mass, approx. 3:15 pm.
Donations to Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease or your favorite animal charity in his name.
Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle. To share your fond memories of Reg with his Family, please visit his Tribute Wall at emmickfunerals.com/obituary/John-HarrisJrMD
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