Gene Alan Harris, passed away January 19, at his home in Napa, California, he was 64-years old.
Known as “Geno” by family and friends, he was the most generous, talented, wise and funny man you’d be lucky enough to know. He was the first person to show up and help when someone was in need and the last person standing until the job was done. His daily life mission was helping lift others in need – a compassion developed while growing up in California’s Central Valley.
Geno was born in Hanford, California on August 22, 1955. He was one of eight children and the youngest son of Robert and Veda Harris.
He was raised in California’s dry Central Valley, but was drawn to the California coast. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1975 and began a successful career in the maritime industry. From tugboats and ferry boats to sailboats and grand iconic wooden ships, he crewed them all and used his talents as a meticulous craftsman to keep them afloat and preserve their rich history. He worked on the Balclutha, a National Historic Monument, and later the Golden Hinde, but eventually retired from the Blue and Gold Ferry.
He worked on boats, played on boats and even lived on one for 20 years. His sailboat was docked at Pier 39 when he met his lifetime love, Laura Smith. The two lived aboard his boat, the Sandia, for years before eventually relocating to land, and moving to Napa, California.
He is survived by his soulmate and partner of 27 years, Laura Smith of Napa; his son, Gene Harris of Napa; step-daughter Antoinette Marie Kuka, who gave him three grandchildren; sister and best friend Barbara Floyd of Manchester, Tennessee; Sisters Helen Taylor of Tulare, California and Starla Rose of Wyoming, as well as two dozen nieces and nephews.
We will all miss the sparkle in his eye, the spring in his step and the smile in his heart.
A celebration of life will be held this spring.
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