Obituary of Gene Clay Harris
Gene Clay Harris, 93, lifetime rice grower in Richvale, California, passed away of natural causes on May 9, 2023, in his home in Richvale.
Gene was born on August 19, 1929, to Glen Harris and Dixie Graham Harris. After Gene graduated from Biggs High School in 1947, he went on to Study Ag Business at University of California, Davis, with a semester at California State College, Chico, before being drafted into the United States Army in November of 1951. During his two years of service, he served as a Disciplinary Guard at Fort Ord, CA and in Tokyo, Japan, being honorably discharged in November of 1953.
In 1952, Gene married Marianne Peterson and they went on to have two children, Robin Harris, and Shelley Cadek. In 1984, Gene married Betty Pippit, living together in Richvale until Betty’s passing in January of 2012. Betty provided Gene with three stepchildren, Cheryl Ballantyne (John), the late Stuart Biggs (Kim), and Steve Biggs (Julie). In 2013, Gene married LaMoyne Darnell, and they lived in Chico, CA until LaMoyne’s passing in 2021. LaMoyne provided Gene with three stepchildren, Cindy De La Cruz (Antonio), Debbie Gilley (Merritt), and Dan Lenz.
Gene is survived by his son, Robin Harris, daughter, Shelley Cadek (Frank), his brother, John Harris, stepchildren, Cheryl Ballantyne (John), Steve Biggs (Julie), Cindy De La Cruz (Antonio), Debbie Gilley (Merritt), and Dan Lenz, his biological grandchildren, Travis LaViolette (Mindy), Samantha Stopplemore (Travis), Mindy Harris, Tyffiny Johnson (Zachary), along with several wonderful step-grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.
Gene was well known for his commitments to many organizations related to farming. Among them, Butte County Farm Bureau (1954-1981), California Farm Bureau (1956-1981), Richvale Irrigation District (1981-2011), Cal-West Seeds (1981-2013) and several terms with ACWA – Association of California Water Agencies (1981-2011). Gene also served on the Boards of Directors of Biggs Unified School District and Orchard Hospital.
● Services will be held at 10 am on June 16, 2023, at Richvale Community Church, with a reception to follow at Gridley Moose Lodge. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Scholarship Fund of the Fellows Club of Oroville, P.O. Box 508, Oroville, CA 96965, Gridley Moose Lodge #1594, P.O. Box 891, Gridley, CA 95948, or Richvale Community Church, P.O. Box 218, Richvale, CA 95974; all organizations Gene admired and supportedTo send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gene Harris, please visit Tribute Store