Death of Richard Harry, Former Missionary to Japan

Death of Richard Harry, Former Missionary to Japan

Global Ministries has received word of the death on March 16, 2010, of former missionary to Japan, Thomas R. (Dick) Harry.

Dick was born in Albany, Oregon, on August 27, 1932.  A native Oregonian, Dick lived all over Oregon:  Coquille, Eugene, Pendleton, Astoria, Monmouth, Portland, Gresham, Albany, and a tent at Fort Steven’s state park.  Dick was in the Navy and served on the aircraft carrier, Bon Homme Richard.  He received his B.S. in 1954 and M.S. in 1963 from Oregon College of Education.  He, along with his wife Evelyn, were called to serve as English teachers at the Good Neighbor Christian Center in Morioka, Japan, from 1987-1991.  This program, sponsored by the Kyodan (United Church of Christ in Japan), is a center which includes a Christian book store with a book mobile that traveled to churches and kindergartens within a 75 mile radius; a Gospel Folk group used in evangelistic programs in area churches; classes in pottery, jazz dance, body building, and sign language; a lending library; and an English program for approximately 300 persons of all ages.

In Dick’s report to the church in 1990, he remarks on a change in his life as having to practice on a daily basis the premise of “Let Go and Let God.  God has answered our prayers and sometimes we sit back and look with awe at our lives.”  He continued that “I really enjoy this job and get a great deal of satisfaction from all of it.”  Dick’s favorite times in life were when he was working with children, teenagers, and music.  Dick played Santa Claus at many kindergartens which were operated by the Kyodon Churches in Morioka.

Dick and Evelyn have five children:  Tom, Sean, Kristin, Keith, and Tim.  They have acquired others like Hiroyuki, Andrew, and Eito since their days in Japan.  When asked how many grandchildren they had, Dick replied, “I am not sure, because I am not sure how to count.  We have seven grandchildren born to our children, five born to our children’s second spouse, and six step-great grandchildren.  We have Tony, Andy, Amy, and about 50 grandchildren born to young people who have lived in our home over the past 20 years and call me Dad.”

A Celebration of Life service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 17, at First Christian Church, Portland, Oregon.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The View Christian Church, 3844 N.E. 20th, Portland, OR 97212, or the youth program of the Christian Church in Oregon, 0245 S.W. Bancroft St., Suite F, Portland, OR. 97239-4267. Messages of condolence may be sent to Evelyn in care of The View Christian Church.