Cover photo for Lawrence Harris's Obituary
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1941 Lawrence 2022

Lawrence Harris

November 10, 1941 — September 24, 2022

Albuquerque

Harris, Lawrence 

Dr. Harris was born in Buffalo, NY, on November 10, 1941, the eldest child of Israel “Duke” Harris and Anne Harris.  He graduated from Bennet High School in Buffalo, NY in 1959.   Afterwards he attended the University of Buffalo (graduating in 1963), and subsequently earned his doctorate in psychology from the University of Mississippi in 1971.  A child psychologist of note, he practiced continually until his retirement in 2009. Larry was predeceased by his father, mother, and step-mother Sophie Harris.
Larry is survived by his younger sister Elaine Penning; wife Roxanne Duran (married September 1992); and four sons, David Harris, Joshua Harris, Gene Duran, and Matthew Duran.  He was the proud grandfather of eight grandchildren:  Anessa, Peyton, Nathaniel, Ella, Hadassah, Adelyn, Sophia, and Sirena.
It was said that nobody had better insight than Dr. Harris when it came to children, and that he had an uncanny ability to make them feel recognized and understood. Nearly everybody, including those in widely extended circles called him “Da,” a fatherly nickname which reflected the way he was seen by so many people.  He welcomed them into his life with open arms and a warm smile, treating the very youngest with the same dignity afforded to the most esteemed adults, by ‘getting down on their level,’ and giving them the gift of being seen.
-David Harris

A memorial and funeral service will be held on October 26, at 1:00PM at Strong-Thorne Funeral Home.  (1100 Coal Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106).

My brother Larry-
Larry was 4 years older than me and was the big brother I idolized throughout our lives.
He took me sledding and ice skating. He took me to the zoo, the art gallery and museums. He was the cool counselor at camp that every friend of mine had crushes on.
He taught me to play poker and black jack, and a friend pointed out years ago that I hold my cards like I’m left-handed. Well of course I do! That’s how I learned. And he taught me to drive a stick shift. Luckily I could use my right hand for that.
Our family danced all the time. Cha-cha, the Merengue, jitterbug. Larry and I took tap and ballroom dancing and he also took acrobatics.  He was so good that our teacher suggested he go to a school in New York. Luckily our parents said no way. He was supportive and funny. Loving and caring. He did magic tricks with our children and then our grandchildren.
And he was ALWAYS there for me when I needed him. He even would remind me to lower my shoulders from my ears when we visited our folks in Vancouver. I have pages of memories. I am heartbroken and will miss him forever. But now, he can have that 5:00 Manhattan with our dad. It’s bound to be 5:00 in heaven.
-Elaine Penning

Larry was a very special man, something I don't need to tell you, but it is something I have been repeatedly telling people.  My memories of him as a kid are filled with joy and laughter.  And as an adult. He was a sweet, loving and very funny cousin.  Some of the posts I have seen on Facebook with his grandkids somehow remind me of those days and I know how lucky they were to have had him.  I recall his dry, irreverent humor, sensitivity, and strong opinions.  He was the whole package, smart, kind, loving, and meeting you truly put his life in focus.  Though at a distance and through too few but great visits I was able to witness your love for each other; you both really found your "Beshert".  Life without Larry will be difficult and I only hope your memories of all your special moments and adventures along with the everyday joys will bring you comfort and keep him close to you.  I will treasure my memories, including his touching support on the loss of my brothers, by taking on the role of "cousin brother".  He was one of a kind and I too will miss him.  Sending my love, thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time, to you, his children and grandchildren.  May his memory be a blessing.
-Roby Hockman

Marty took Larry and I to see the splendors of Oakdale country club. We were the poor cousins. Marty showed us the bar, restaurants, pools etc. Larry turned to me and quietly said to me “do you think they have an outhouse I have to take a piss” it was perfect in the moment I remember losing it laughing. I told him I didn’t think so for non-members and he will have to wait for the next gas station. 
- Larry Gold

I’m going to miss Larry. I never really called him Larry though, I called him Da. As a Father in law, there isn’t much more I could have asked for. I could always count on his good advice. He had a great way of wording things and even turning something around to make points you never even considered. I’ll never forget the toast he made at mine and Matt’s wedding… he told me to put my right hand on Matt’s heart, and then told Matt to put his hand on top of my hand. Then he told Matt that that is the last time he’d ever have the upper hand. He always made us laugh! The even more endearing role he had in my life, was being my children’s grandfather. He set the bar for Grandfathers everywhere. Anyone could tell how much he loved all of the kids. He spent real time with them. I was always so impressed by the little things he’d do. He was so creative with them and encouraging. I will always cherish so many fond memories of chicken salad, summer trips, and morning coffee with Da. And I am so grateful for him being such a perfect role model to Matt, he did an amazing job raising him into the man of my dreams. I will always be thankful for the opportunity to have had him in my life and will keep him alive in my memories and in my heart. 
-Stephanie Duran

When thinking of Da there are so many fond memories of him I have, growing up, it’s hard to know where to start. I suppose I’ll start with the special moments to me that made the most impact. Da was a traveler and I remember trips to places like Angel Fire for skiing, Da being the big skier that he was, he would do things like carry Gene or I through the thick snow we could barely walk in with our ski boots to the car. I remember him teaching us to ski, even after putting us in ski lessons for the day, and then me learning to “pie” and do turns in between his skis as he’d keep me from falling.  I remember once he took me and a neighborhood friend on a trip with just us and him when he had a conference out near Cimarron, NM. And we stayed at the St. James Hotel, which is a known haunted hotel, but he knew it was creepy and thought it’d be cool for a few kids to experience. Even though my friend was more terrified than I, I was still a little freaked out that there might be actual ghosts looming the halls at night near our room, but Da made us both feel at ease and would crack jokes to make us laugh, as he often would with us all to make you feel comforted in any situation.  
Da being the comedian of our family, even though Gene and I often said that Aunt Elaine was a little funnier, we would tease, during trips out to Danville, CA. He would take us to Knotsberry Farm, Disney land and SeaWorld during these types of trips. Da had a way of always making us feel special, even though we didn’t know it at the time. I don’t remember a time that he told us or Mom that we couldn’t do something or couldn’t have something such as a trip souvenir (like the cool ‘bear whiz beer’ shirts he put me on to and I received during every trip to Red River after the Old West Gun show we would watch). I loved Da very much and I knew through his actions Day in and Day out and the efforts he made throughout our lives from helping with math homework, to making us dinner every week night (after creating a weekly menu for us he would cycle through, with items such as sloppy joes, his sticky wings, world famous Goulash, and Manhattans on toast!) Da was always there for us and became OUR Dad the way he would treat us equally to his own children, Josh and David with no hesitation. For me he was “Larry” growing up, and as an adult, I realized, he was always Da. I remember him teaching me to dribble better in the front driveway and was surprised he was still a good basketball player. Once a great athlete always a great athlete, I suppose even in his older age. I was always impressed with stories of him being in tap dance, running, boxing with Grandpa duke in their front yard in their underpants (lol there’s a picture to prove it!) and of course avid Skier. He skied almost everywhere in New Mexico and Colorado. And even with all his knee, leg or foot injuries, he continued to Ski and ride his motorcycle. These are all great stories and I will keep them ALL in my mind and in my heart, Always, but the best memory of all and probably the simplest that I will cherish until the day I die, is “the claw” when he would tuck me in at night when my mom wasn’t available. If you don’t know the claw, I’m sure any of his kids or grandkids can tell you the sound effects he would make while he slowly moved his hand towards your chest, “Dun duh duh duh DUN duh duh duh DUN duh duh duh tah tah tah tah tah tah dun!” Kinda like the theme music to Star Wars. Such a caring, funny, and loving Father and he will be missed very much. He made such a huge impression on me and I will continue to share stories like this and attempt to even half emulate the man he was to carry on his legacy. 
-Matt Duran

One of my fondest memories of him was when he took me for a ride on his motorcycle. He let me turn on the blinkers and everything 😂. Chloe and Brycen remember how he somehow made a dollar bill smile.
-Barry Penning

Da is the best example of a husband, father, friend, and confidant. I will remember him for his humor and practical jokes. He would call Mom at work and leave messages from “Juan Tah-Bo”. He would also set up dinner reservations under funny names like, “Mark Frenulum”. He was always there for us and I am grateful for the opportunity to be raised by him and to know him.
-Gene Duran

To be perfectly honest, I cannot remember the exact moment I met Da (Larry); what I do recall is being blown away by the love and affection he exuded to anyone he encountered. Da was a master at getting down to any child’s level and making them feel just as important as any adult in the room. As his daughter-in-law, I am honored to have witnessed how much love and loyalty Da bestowed upon Bubbe, his sons, his grandchildren, and his extended friends and family. He taught his sons how to love with their whole heart, while not forsaking a high level of humor and silliness. Da’s passing leaves a hole in my heart, but I know his legacy will live on in every life he touched. Some things I will miss with Da’s passing:
 
*    His hugs
*    His wit
*    Hilarious magic tricks, that hopefully will live on in my children.
*    Teriyaki steak
*    His questionable driving. I swear, he tried to kill us on the freeway when visiting Aunt Elaine in California. Alas, we survived to tell the tale.
*    The way he listened and kindly, thoughtfully offered advice
*    How he let the kids act like kids. Nothing was off limits and not much would rattle him, not even when the little ones found the drum set.
*    How he wrapped the girls up like burritos in towels. As hard as I try, I will never get that trick down.
*    His tales of the “old house” which included runaway dogs and kids using throwing stars in the hallway.
*    His beautiful yard. I love how you would always bring in freshly cut flowers for Bubbe or send some home for me.
*    Watching Da cook with Bubbe. The two of them truly had a secret language in the kitchen and made it look like an effortless dance.
*    The fact that you saved everything. Everything. Dare I mention the late 80’s / early 90’s ski suit? 
Thank you, Da, for being an outstanding father-in-law. You lit up my life in too many ways account.
-Alana Marrazzo

I will always remember Larry as a great travel guide. He set up all of our trips to Europe and cruises. We always had great inventor. At one of our camping trips he created a poker game “Lime Time” that we play to this day. There may have been some tequila involved in that game’s origin. 
-Sherry Gribling

Larry Harris was a mensch-man of integrity and honor, a good guy!
While planning one of my first trips with “the group”, a trip to San Francisco, I mentioned to Larry that when I travel I like to make trip goals.  While in San Francisco, Larry remembered my goals and helped me accomplish all 5 of my goals.  Thank you Larry Harris.  Your memory IS a blessing.
With love, 
-Marjorie Bender


 

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022

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