Jeff Harris

Jeff Harris, 56, of Newport Beach, brother, dearest friend, leader, ally, musician, uncle to many, cohort, wingman and inspiration left us suddenly, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. His smile, wit, loyalty, laugh, intelligence, instinct, talent, passion, artistry and optimism will be with us forever. Jeff had the rare blessing of living his passions and dreams every day. His talent and craftsmanship on the ground and sheer artistry in the air were legendary. The travel bug bit him early, taking him to every corner, and surf spot, on the globe. His passion for flying continued that dream, both as a longtime pilot for American Airlines, and as one of the most talented and prolific private and vintage war bird pilots and restoration experts in the country. Jeff’s insistence on perfection was always apparent, whether in designing and building a masterpiece custom home or restoring and flying historic aircraft. A humble yet very friendly and outgoing lad, “Hareball” could strike up a conversation and hold court with anyone, anywhere. He surely had his opinions on most subjects and was not hesitant to share them.  His love for the water drew him to many exotic destinations, and also to his beloved Beacon Bay, where he was a longtime and beloved figure; and where he was building his dream home and future. Jeff often talked about hanging out in his garage/workshop at retirement, holding court and building fine guitars.  Whether you knew him a day or a lifetime, he was your friend, mentor and entertainer.
Jeff leaves behind his sister, Kirby Carol Harris, brother, David Harris (Kathy), twin sister, Jeanne Harris (Jim), nieces Cindy Wall (Rob) and Erin Hay (Brooke), and great niece and nephew, Julia and Ian Wall, and many friends, worldwide. He was preceded in death by his mom, Kirby Harris, and dad, David B. Harris.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 6. If you knew Jeff and would like to attend, call 805-540-0783 for details.
Donations in memory of Jeff may be made to the Surfing Heritage Foundation, of which he was a founding member (

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