January 8, 1935 – September 9, 2023
at the age of 85 years:
Memorial Service: Saturday, October 7, 2023, 11:00 a.m., Fischer’s Funeral Services
After a lifetime dedicated to protecting and promoting the outdoors, Connie Harris (Crowley) passed away on September 9.
Connie was instrumental in the creation of Shuswap Outdoors! and served as its President for many years. Through a Canada Works Grant, she supervised a work-crew that was responsible for the establishment of the original Larch Hills ski trails. In 1976, she co-authored the 2nd edition of “Trails to the Shuswap” a year-round hiking and XC-skiing guide and gave XC-skiing and backpacking courses in Adult Ed. classes. In earlier years, Connie served with the “Shuswap and Thompson River Research Association” that helped prevent the diversion of Shuswap waters into the Okanagan. When the City of Salmon Arm sought to dam and divert a Larch Hills watershed to the city for domestic use, she served on a Provincial Committee to help stop that environmentally disruptive plan. In the 1990s Connie served with the LRMP (Land Resource Management Plan) developing a plan for management of Crown lands in the Okanagan/Shuswap that resulted in the establishment of many protected areas, including Violet Cr. Watershed in the Larch Hills. In addition to being a Shuswap riding candidate for the Green Party in both federal and provincial elections, she was editor of “The Green Alternative,” a monthly TV show in Kamloops, which aired for 6 years. Connie was a professional geologist, receiving her BSc (Hons.) at the University of Manitoba, and she lectured at Western Washington University, Ferris State College in Michigan, as well as at Okanagan College here in Salmon Arm and Vernon. She had studied at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM for 4 years, receiving her MSc. in Geology there. She also did research at the University of Colorado’s Alpine Research Station on Niwot Ridge, CO, and took part in the University of Washington’s Alpine Plants Botany Field Course in the Cascade Mountains. She was an accomplished beekeeper and Master Gardener. As an outstanding community volunteer, Connie received a Shuswap Trails Award in 2010 for her contribution to trails in the region, and a Senate 150 Commemorative Medal in 2017 for building and promoting community trails as a legacy for the future. She loved the nearby mountains and enjoyed every opportunity to explore, climb and traverse mountain wilderness environments in the Purcells, Selkirks and Monashee Ranges with her friends in the affectionately named “Tang Gang” and partner Tom.
A long life well lived, Connie was born, January 8, 1938 at Maryfield, SK. She is survived by her sisters, Judy Duce (Bill) in Manitoba, and Eleanor Verleye in Ontario, as well as her niece, Amanda Hopcraft and nephews, John, Michael, and Richard Labram, and Kenny Hopcraft (Vonda), Manitoba.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 11:00 am at Fischer’s Funeral Services.