Kenneth James Harris, 36, devoted husband, father, son, brother, and uncle was called home on January 5, 2022, due to complications from a chronic inflammatory illness.
Born on February 4, 1985, in Santa Ana, California, Ken was the youngest of six children born to Stephen and Laurie Harris. At a very young age, Ken showed his sharp memory, remarkable communication skills and a comedic personality that always had his family and those around him laughing. When Ken was six years old, he and his family moved to the small town of Hurricane, Utah, where his infectious humor and practical jokes will be remembered by many for years to come. One such practical joke impressively involved placing a Volkswagon Bug on the roof of Hurricane High School. Shortly after graduating high school, Ken was called to serve a two-year mission in Resistencia, Argentina. He loved sharing the gospel, both as a missionary, and throughout his life. After his mission, Ken’s compassionate nature, unending kindness, and devotion to serve others led him to pursue a degree in nursing following his graduation from BYU Idaho. Ken was a friend to all and had a gift for inspiring happiness in everyone he met. His quick wit, contagious positivity, and kindhearted personality made him a favorite among the patients that he served.
During the time he attended BYU Idaho, Ken married and started a family. Ken was excited to be a dad and was thrilled when his first child was born. Over the next few years, Ken and his wife happily welcomed three more children. Ken cherished and loved each of his children and strived every day to be the best dad he could be. Although Ken and his first wife eventually parted ways, Ken continued to be a dedicated, loving, and exceptional father to his children.
While living in Washington, Utah with his four children, Ken met the love of his life Ashley Stephan. Ken instantly fell in love with Ashley and each one of her five children from a previous marriage. They were married on December 14, 2019 and sealed for time and all eternity in the Cedar City, Utah temple. From the moment they met, Ken and Ashley were inseparable and rarely spent a day apart. Ken and Ashley shared a love of traveling and enjoyed vacationing together as a family in their 15-passenger van, which they dubbed “The White Dream” and christened with the license plate “RABBITS”. Ken was a devoted and loving husband and father. He was overjoyed to learn this past year that he and Ashley were expecting child number ten. Baby Tyler, or “Giblets” as Ken nicknamed him, was born on Thanksgiving Day.
Ken’s greatest joy was his love for family and his knowledge that families can be together forever. One of the things he loved most was spending time with his mother, his siblings, and his many nieces and nephews. He was a favorite and beloved uncle who always had every child in the room laughing. Ken inherited a love of cooking from his father, and like his father, he enjoyed large family get-togethers where the whole family cooked, ate, and laughed together. Ken had a love of learning and enjoyed trying new things, whether it was a new recipe, raising chickens, or turning a cargo trailer into a travel trailer, Ken loved and excelled at it all. Throughout his life, Ken diligently served in many callings for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, most recently as Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
Ken’s illness caused great suffering and pain which Ken gracefully endured. In his final weeks in the hospital, Ken matched the intensifying pain with equal compassion for those around him. His frequent kindness and compliments to doctors, nurses and cleaning staff were awe inspiring given his condition. He looked forward to having nursing students tend to him and would offer gentle encouragement as they learned. This intensifying kindness continued despite the difficulties that ultimately led to his passing.
Ken is survived by his wife, Ashley; children, Elliana, Madelyn, Elias, Elizabeth, Emma, Stephen, Paula, Nathan, Asher, and Tyler; mother, Laurie; and siblings, Brian (Heather), Matthew, David (Shelly), John (Amber), and Lisa (Dusty). He is preceded in death by his father Stephen Harris.
The Harris family would like to thank the many great people who have helped care for Ken and his family throughout these trying weeks. They would also like to thank the many loved ones in their family, neighborhood, community, and beyond who showed love and support to them during this difficult time.
Funeral service will be Friday, January 14, 2022 at 11:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints chapel located at 658 West 1500 South, Hurricane, Utah.
Viewings will take place Thursday, January 13, 2022 from 6 to 8 pm, and prior to the funeral service Friday, January 14, 2022 from 9:30 to 10:45 am at the same location.
The funeral service will also be streamed live, click on the link below.
Interment at the Washington City Cemetery immediately following the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider practicing extra kindness, showing your family you love them, and telling a joke or two. Ken would approve.