Longtime member and national award winner, Hal Harris, dies

Harold "Hal" Harris, longtime member of the Southern California Chapter and recipient of the Donald C. Stone award, passed away on April 24, 2003.

Harris was born in Chicago in 1923 and attended Northwestern University before joining the Army Air Corps at the outbreak of World War II. He was stationed in Great Britain during the war, where he met his wife Joyce on his 21st birthday. Following the war, the two were married in England and then returned briefly to Chicago prior to moving to Southern California. Harris later completed his education at UCLA and USC and subsequently obtained his California registration as a licensed civil engineer. He joined the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering in 1946 and held various positions over the next 35 years in the City's Sewer Design Division, Utility and Estimating Division and Executive Division. He retired from the City in 1981 as the Assistant Division Engineer of Design Research Standards.

From 1981 through 1984 Harris was Director of Governmental/Utility Relations for the Pacific Cable Television Group, and from 1985 to 1987 was involved in private-sector civil, utility and forensic consulting work. From 1988 until his death, Harris was a principal consultant with Boyle Engineering Corporation in Newport Beach.

His active involvement with APWA spanned more than 35 years. He first joined the Southern California Chapter in 1965 and became a member of the Uniform Standards Committee two years later. Throughout the years he was also a member of the Uniform Ordinance and Practices Committee, Chapter Education and Training Committee, Chapter Career Guidance Committee, and Chapter Executive Committee, among others.

On the national front, Harris was appointed to the Utility Location and Coordination Council (ULCC) National Steering Committee in 1972 and later served on the ULCC Executive Committee for six years. In 1998, he was appointed to the Utility and Public Right-of-Way (UPROW) Committee to work on the Planning and Coordination Subcommittee. Harris attended the APWA Congress for all but two of the past 33 years, and was awarded Lifetime Membership in the organization in 1989.

Harris was also the recipient of many APWA awards during his lifetime. In 1987 he received the William Henderson Award for exemplary service to the chapter and was the recipient of the Chapter Service Award in 1991. The following year, he received the prestigious Donald C. Stone Award for excellence in education. Harris also received the chapter's Top Private Sector Leader of the Year Award in 2000.

Survivors include Joyce, his wife of 57 years, and sons Craig and Keith. A donation has been made in his name that will be used toward APWA educational programming.

Contributed by Harvey R. Gobas, P.E., Southern California Chapter Vice President