John David "Chip" Harris

YN2 onboard 1968-1970

John D. 'Chip' Harris
John D. "Chip" Harris

Sadly, RUSH Association Recruiter Norm Porterfield received an email from Kathy S. Harris, the wife of Chip Harris on August 2, 2006. The email is quoted below:

Hello, I am Kathy Harris, wife of John D. “Chip” Harris.

We received the “Rush Gram” of Summer 2006 today and I thought you would want to know that my husband passed away on July 13 of this year after a short but tremendously hard fought battle with esophageal cancer. He had just turned 60 on March 29. I don’t know if you publish this information or not, but I wanted to share it with you just in case.

I know that recently Chip rediscovered many of his former shipmates on the USS RUSH. He so enjoyed receiving the photographs you sent him and showing our son, Andrew and me all of these mementos.

Thank you for your time.

Kathy S. Harris

The following obituary was published in the Arizona Republic on July 16, 2006:


John David “Chip” Harris: On Thursday, July 13, 2006, an empty space was left on earth. John David “Chip” Harris departed this life to join his son Ryan. (Ryan may be shaking in his boots about now.) Chip was most proud of his family: Kathy, his wife; his children, Todd, his wife, Kelly and their soon to be born daughter; Ryan; Poppie and her fiancé, Amos; Ryan(deceased); Andrew; Erin and his sister Debbie and her husband, John. True to his nature, Chip gloried in the successes and accomplishments of others much more than in his own. And his own were no small feat. From the humble beginnings of a one room school house in Hurley, New York, Mr. Harris began to carve into life an unforgettable future. His unbridled curiosity, love of learning and ability to find good in each person he met were the tools of his many endeavors.


Chip graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree. He was also the college’s nominee for the Rhodes Scholarship. Before enrolling in law school at the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Harris served in and received an honorable discharge from the United States Navy. Chip’s respect for the dignity of each individual led him to his ultimate specialty in the law, personal injury and wrongful death litigation. He was among the first group of attorneys in Arizona to achieve the certification of “Specialist” in these areas when the designation was implemented by the State Bar in 1991.


In addition to his successful law practice, Chip thoroughly enjoyed sharing his expertise and experience with a younger generation as a Professor of Law Adjunct at the Arizona State University College of Law teaching Trial Advocacy. He also accepted an invitation to become a judge for the Town of Paradise Valley where, in court, Chip may have occasionally deviated a bit from the law as it is known to others. Nevertheless, he was loved and admired by defendants, plaintiffs, staff and colleagues because he treated each with the respect and consideration they deserved.


Chip also served in the Maricopa County Superior Court system as a Judge Pro Tem since1988. In this capacity, Chip followed the letter of the law. Included in this position came the privilege of performing marriage ceremonies, which Chip did with regularity and great enthusiasm. Chip’s list of other professional memberships and honors is lengthy and admirable.


As with his professional career, Chip was also an overachiever on the golf course, playing to a handicap of 2-at times. He was a student of the game of golf as he was the game of life. Anyone lucky enough to play in his foursome found a genuine friend, mentor and cheerleader.


Anyone lucky enough to know Chip knew he played the game of life to its fullest. In his last days, Chip fought his cancer with tenacity, strength and courage maintaining a quiet dignity. Surrounded by his family, Chip died, graduating from life with honors.


A visitation will be held on Monday, July 17, 2006 from 6:00 –9:00 p.m., at Brophy Chapel, 4701 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 10:00 a.m., at Brophy Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to any of the following charitable organizations:


1. Ryan C. Harris Learning Center at the University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton,Ohio 45469-1681, In memory of John “Chip” Harris, Checks payable to:University of Dayton

2. Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation, 10001 N.92nd Street, Suite121, Scottsdale, Arizona 85258, Tel: 480-882-4517, In memory of John “Chip” Harris, Checks payable to: Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation or give online to:

3. Brophy College Preparatory, Brophy Community Foundation, 4701 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85012-1723, In memory of John “Chip” Harris

4. ASU Foundation Sandra Day O‘Connor College of Law, Attention: Marilyn Seymann/Assistant Dean, P.O. Box 877906, Tempe, Arizona 85287-7906, Tel: 480-727-6979 or give online: