Harris, Connie (Crowley)

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. 


  1. Hi Tom,
    I belatedly discovered this sad news, and wanted to express my condolences.

  2. Connie was a champion of caring for our planet, the land, and our wild places. A friend of the mountains and forests, helping create trails that lead us all to better appreciate the natural world we depend on. She has been a constant source of wisdom, inspiration, knowledge, and support as we all worked together to shape collaborative efforts like the Shuswap Trail Alliance and the regional trails roundtable. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude for the legacy of her great passion, commitment, and leadership. . .and her voracious determination to get us on our feet walking! Walk any trail in the Shuswap and you are walking in Connie’s footsteps. Journey well, Connie. And thank you.

  3. Our condolences to Uncle Tom on your recent loss of Aunt Connie Regards Kenny Vonda Hopcraft and family

  4. It is very sad to hear of Connie’s passing but the work she has done for the environment and recreation trail will last for many years to come. I was fortunate to have worked with Connie on the LRMP and during the attempt by Salmon Arm to illegally divert water from Violet Creek to Canoe Creek in the late 90’s. Thanks Connie for all you have done and I will never forget you for what you have done for the planet.

  5. My condolences to the family. Many thanks to Connie for her dedication to the Shuswap outdoors.
    She was a neighbour with whom I enjoyed many a conversation over the past 40 years.

  6. Connie was a dear friend and neighbour since we moved to Salmon Arm in the mid-80’s. She introduced me to the area, taking me hiking and biking and presenting me with a copy of her book Trails to the Shuswap. She was so knowledgeable – we had many interesting conversations and I learned a great deal from her.

    I know you will be greatly missed by your family.
    and I will miss you very much Dear Friend – rest well.

  7. Connie was a long time beloved friend since the early 1970’s. She will live on in my memories of our many many wonderful times in the mountains.

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