Obituary: VAN ORDEN, HARRIS OLSON

Published: Monday, July 28 2014 5:38 a.m. MDT

Harris Olson Van Orden1917 ~ 2012Harris Olson Van Orden passed away peacefully January 5, 2012. He was born October 6, 1917, in Smithfield, Utah, to Harris Olonzo and Ingra Olson Van Orden. Harris attended Cache Valley schools and received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Utah State Agriculture College (now Utah State University) in 1938. In 1942 he received a master of science degree from Washington State University followed by a call to service in World War II. He was assigned to the Army Chemical Center, serving as an instructor in the Officer Candidate School and as a troop unit officer at Camp Siebert, Alabama. Later, in Florida, he helped test and develop counter-measures for the effects of chemical warfare agents. Harris later graduated from the Command and General Staff College in Fort Levenworth, Kansas, and became an chemical officer in the newly organized U.S. 10th Army. He served in the 10th Army Headquarters through the Okinawa campaign until the war ended, and was then assigned to a task force overseeing the surrender of islands between Okinawa and Japan. Later he served in the operations section of General MacArthur's headquarters in Tokyo. He returned to the United States in early 1946 where he was released from active duty. Harris remained active in the Army Reserves until 1960.In 1947 Harris joined the faculty of Utah State University, but soon took a leave to pursue doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving his Ph.D. in 1950. It was during this time that he met another Utah native, Eleanor Brinton Young. They were married October 16, 1948, in Pelham, New York, later sealed in the Logan L.D.S. Temple. Their son, Peter, was born late the next year. In 1953 Harris and his family returned to Utah where he conducted research at the University of Utah under a grant from the National Institutes of Health, and later returned to his faculty position at Utah State.While on sabbatical leave in 1962, Harris did research at the University of California, Berkeley. He also participated in summer programs at American University in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Tufts University, and the University of Wyoming. Harris authored or co-authored 23 scientific publications and several textbooks. He was a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Harris and Eleanor were members of the Old Main Society at USU and the President's Club at BYU.Following his retirement from USU, Harris was active in volunteer work, including serving as financial officer for the Cache Valley chapter of the American Red Cross.Harris was an active member of the LDS Church, serving in three bishoprics, as financial officer of the Deseret Cheese Plant, and as a priesthood, gospel doctrine, and home teacher.Harris loved sports and was a dedicated golfer. He also enjoyed hiking, and in his youth participated in basketball, baseball and softball.In May 2003, Harris and Eleanor moved to the Parklane Senior Apartments in Salt Lake City. Following Eleanor's death in 2008, Harris moved to Sunrise Senior Living Holladay where he resided until his passing. Survived by son Peter and daughter-in-law Linda, sisters Brenda (Randall) Sorenson and Aileen (Elwin) Arnell, brother Ross (Della Rae) Van Orden, and sister-in-law Fern (Dale) Van Orden. Preceded in death by his wife Eleanor, sister Arva, and brother Dale.Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, January 12th, at Wasatch Lawn Mortuary, 3401 South Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, with a visitation from 10:00-10:45 a.m. prior to the services. Burial will follow at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.The family wishes to thank Dr. Ahn and Emily from Alpine Internal Medicine, the staff at Sunrise Senior Living Holladay, and Frankie from Inspiration Hospice for their support and care of Harris.In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Harris O. and Eleanor Y. Van Orden Endowed Scholarship in Chemistry at Utah State University, c/o Development Office, 1420 Old Main Hill, Logan, Utah 84322