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Gene D. Harris

January 17, 2019 GMT

Ashburn, Va., formerly Sioux City

Gene D. Harris, 94, of Ashburn, formerly of Sioux City, died Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at the Reston Hospital under the care of VITAS Hospice.

Services will be 3 p.m. Friday Adams-Green Funeral Home in Herndon, Va., with the Rev. Joseph Vought from Community Lutheran Church officiating. Burial will be at a later date in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Primghar, Iowa, with the Rev. David Halaas of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Sioux City officiating. Visitation will be 2 p.m until service time Friday at the funeral home.

Gene was born in Onawa, Iowa, on Nov. 16, 1924, the son of Richard Lowell Harris and Nora Fern (Carpenter) Harris. Most of his early life was in Sioux City, where he received an eighth grade education.

In 1943, he joined the ranks of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry in World War II, where as a sergeant he earned numerous medals including the coveted French Croix de Guerre for bravery, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Infantry Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.

Following the war, he returned to Sioux City, and on Jan. 4, 1947, he married Joan Deneice Rembe in Sioux City. He became a stepfather to her young son, Larry. Then, on April 11, 1948, his daughter, Cinda Lea was born. He was an active member of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Sioux City, enjoyed gardening, wood working, and visiting with neighbors and relatives.

His early career in the candy business began at Candy Land in Sioux City, where he made marshmallows. Next, he and the family moved to Kendallville, Ind. to begin work at Kraft Foods. Hawthorne, Calif. was their next move where he obtained employment with Merle Norman Cosmetics in Los Angeles. He retired from Merle Norman Cosmetics in the late 1980s. A decision was made to return to their roots in 1995 to Sioux City, where they lived for more than 20 years. His wife passed away in 2012. So, in 2016, Gene decided to move to Virginia to be near his daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

At 91 years of age, he was able to live independently for two years before major health issues caused him to move to an assisted living facility, Tribute at One Loudoun, where he remained until his death.

He is survived by a sister, Greta Kroll of Sioux City; a daughter and her husband, Cinda and Robert Hughes of Ashburn, Va.; daughter-in-law, Dorothy Becker of Boerne, Texas; four grandchildren, Douglas and wife, Gina Becker of Boerne, Bradley Becker of Georgetown, Texas, Bryan and wife, Edna Hughes of Ashburn, and Jennifer and husband, Zachary Gordon of Ashburn; and five great-grandchildren, Irina Becker of Boerne, Hope and Samuel Hughes of Ashburn, and Adam and Emily Gordon of Ashburn.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Joan; his stepson, Dr. Larry Becker; three sisters, Itha Sexton, Letha Newman, and Nita Edlund; and three brothers, Gail Harris, Neal Harris, and Dickie Harris.