Harris Eloph, 78, a resident of Oak Harbor for 34 years, lost his 9-year battle to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis on Nov. 18, 2017 at the family home.
A celebration of life will be held at noon on Sunday, Dec. 31 at the First United Methodist Church in Oak Harbor. Another event will be at the North Whidbey Sportsmen Association in December.
Harris was born in New Haven, Ind., on Jan. 24, 1939 to Harris and Margaret Eloph and grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind., with his two sisters, Karen and Kathryn. He attended South Side High School.
On June 22, 1968, he married Susan Mills and started their 49 and a half years together, moving to Oak Harbor in 1983.
Together they had two sons, Thomas Eloph (Heather) in Honolulu, and John Eloph (Bobbe) in Silverdale, and two grandchildren, Kylie (4) and Ray (13). From a former marriage Harris had two children in Fort Wayne, Sandra Jones (Dan) and Mark Eloph, two granddaughters, Crystal Wolford (James) and Natasha Jones. Great-grandchildren are David (14), Keanu (8), and Caya (4) in Ossian, Ind.
He was preceded in death by his sister and her husband, Kathryn and Phil Gieseking. A sister Karen Wade (Nick) survives in Fort Wayne, and nieces and nephews in Ohio, Texas, and Indiana, as well as brother-in-law Raymond Mills at Harris’ home in Oak Harbor and sister-in-law Sandra Mills in Goodyear, Ariz.
Harris was well-known for his love of cooking for his buddies at the North Whidbey Sportsmen Association and at his church, where he was a chef at several events of the Walk to Emmaus, Mirth and weekly gatherings of young people.
He had a passion for deer and elk hunting, bee keeping, leather work, and making peanut brittle for friends and local businesses. He recently retired from his own business, Harris’ Mobile RV Repair, and was known for his “little gold school bus with the white porch on the back.”
He and Susan enjoyed travelling to Alaska, Hawaii, Europe and to Yellowstone National Park many times.
He donated his body to the Willed Body Program at the University of Washington. In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to memorialize his life can contribute to Oak Harbor’s First United Methodist Church Camperships fund for youth summer camp expenses.
Harris and family are grateful to WhidbeyHealth Hospice Care that worked tirelessly for a year encouraging him with their support.