William Blayney Harris, 99, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and uncle, died peacefully
at home, surrounded by his three daughters, Tuesday, August 17, 2010.
Burial will be private and a memorial celebration will be held Tuesday, September 14th, between 2:30-4:30 pm
at the home of Jane and Tom Baffney, 566 University Street, Walla Walla.
Bill was born December 4, 1910, in Condon, Oregon, the eldest of four children of Clifford Waverly and Nell
Blayney Harris. After completing high school in Condon, Oregon, he attended Whitman College, graduating in 1933 with a degree in Economics.
He later attended Stanford Graduate School of Financial Management, University of Washington's Pacific Coast School
of Banking and the American Institute of Banking.
Bill was a man who believed in hard work and self discipline, never asking more of others than he did of himself. Immediately after
graduating from college, he was employed by the Federal Land Bank of Spokane from 1933 - 1936. Returning to Walla Walla in 1936,
he served as assistant secretary-treasurer for Walla Walla Production Credit. From 1939 - 1942 and from 1945 - 1955 he worked for
Walla Walla's Pacific Supply Cooperative as their credit manager and treasurer. From 1942-1945, he served in the US Army.
In 1940, William B. and Julia Mary Crawford wed at her family home in Walla Walla. They had three daughters, Jane, Elizabeth and
Meredith "Peggy", two of whom continue to live in the Crawford family homes. Julia died in 1965.
In 1955, Donald Sherwood (Sherwood Roberts, Inc.) hired Bill as an Assistant Vice President. In 1956 he began a 20 year
career with Baker Boyer Bank, retiring as Senior Vice President and Director in 1976. Not ready to fully retire, he served as Vice President
of Donald Sherwood's Pioneer Investment Company, active in the management of the company's investment and project developments,
located principally in Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities. From 1994-1997 he was the Vice President, Director and Trustee of the Sherwood Trust.
He spent his final working years, until the age of 96, volunteering for the Walla Walla School District's Science Materials Center.
In the mid 1960s, he assisted the Walla Walla Symphony in establishing an Endowment Fund. A longtime Rotary Club member,
he served as president in 1974. He also served many years as the secretary/treasurer of Whitehouse Crawford Company and the
Connecticut Investment Company. He served on community boards including the YMCA and YWCA, the Walla Walla Credit Bureau,
United Way of Walla Walla, Boy Scouts and Camp Fire. An inspirational figure for many in the community, Harris was honored
with the Art Regier Volunteer of the Year Award from the Walla Walla School District and the Sally Rodgers Alumni Award from
In 1969, he married Janice Harvey Price. They later divorced.
He was a humble and gentle man who valued honesty and integrity. His mark on those who felt privileged to know him is
deep and memorable.
He is survived by his daughters and their husbands, Jane and Tom Baffney, Elizabeth and Hans Matschukat and Meredith "Peggy" and
Terry Willcuts as well as grandchildren Andrew (Corrie) Baffney, Colin Baffney, Bradley Willcuts, Mary Caitlin Willcuts, Julia
Matschukat, William Matschukat and great-grandchild, Delaney Baffney. He is also survived by his sister, Marian Harris Evans,
a sister-in-law Martha Crawford Gray, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford and Nell, his wife, Julia, and brothers, Edward and Jack.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to his caregivers, especially Leslie Drake, and to his longtime friend and neighbor,
Vern Kegley, for their constant support and love.
Donations may be made through Herring Funeral Home to Walla Walla Community Hospice, the Julia Crawford Harris Music
Scholarship Endowment in care of Whitman College or a charity of the donor's choice.