Barbara Harris

Obituary of Barbara Elaine Harris

Barbara Elaine (Pederson) Harris

April 20, 1934-May 1, 2020

On May 1, 2020 Barbara Harris (‘Mom’) passed peacefully with family at her side in Wheatridge, Colorado at age 86.

Barbara was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota to Gunda (Larson) Pederson and Sigurd Pederson.  She was raised on the family farm in rural Grand Forks with her brother, Gary.  Barbara attended the Brenna Township School No. 13, and Evanger Lutheran Church.  Barbara was always a diligent student and blessed with a beautiful voice.  Throughout her childhood she participated in numerous musicals/recitals and was a featured soloist, singing “Vigil”, at her high school graduation. 

Barbara graduated from North Dakota State College (now NDSU) in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics and was active in the Glee Club, musical honorary societies and the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority.  She was a featured soloist at the NDSC Commencement Ceremony on June 4, 1954. 

After graduating, she worked as a NDSC extension agent in Taylor, ND.  A year later she began teaching music and home economics in the Taylor Schools.  She married Donald Harris and raised five children in Dickinson and Bismarck.    Her children have fond memories and reminisce about how Mom made a wonderful home and loved her cooking, baking, gardening and music. 

While in Bismarck, Barbara continued to teach and worked as an interior designer.  She loved her pets (Prince, Princess and Susie) and was a member of Trinity Lutheran church.  She enjoyed singing in the church choir and the annual production of Handel’s “Messiah.”  Barbara spent her senior years in Wheatridge, Colorado at the Mountain Vista Senior Center where she was lovingly cared-for, and the staff enjoyed her singing and stories of her love for North Dakota.

Barbara is survived by her five children (Harley, Stephanie/Kevin, Jeff/Lorena, Mary Beth and Kris/Greg), her six grandchildren (Hans, Andy, Jason, Mathew, Alyson and Grace), nieces (Stacy and Stephanie) and other relatives.  She is preceded in death by her Mother Gunda (Larson), father Sigurd, brother Gary, and beloved Aunt Helen. 

Barbara will be laid to rest at Evanger Lutheran Church Cemetery in Grand Forks, ND.  Memorial donations may be sent to the Evanger Lutheran Church, at 1311 16th St. N.W, Grand Forks, ND  58201, or the Mountain Vista Foundation Harold Kleinpaste Nursing Scholarship ( ). 

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