Birthday milestone: Dusenbery

By Mary Ricks, Columbian News Assistant



Harris Dusenbery was born on Feb. 26, 1914, in Roundup, Mont., where he shared the joys of small town life with his three brothers. His family moved to Portland in 1926.

He graduated from Reed College in 1936. In 2012 the college had its inaugural float in the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade, and at age 98, Dusenbery walked the entire parade route with the float.

He met his future wife, Evelyn Shields, while they were on a Reed climb of Mount Hood. After college, he began working for the Social Security Administration and married Evelyn in 1940. She died in 2008.

During World War II, Dusenbery joined the 10th Mountain Division, the “ski troops,” and served in combat in Italy from northwest of Florence, across the Po River and on to Lake Garda by the end of the war.

He moved with his wife and two children to Vancouver in 1950 and became an active member of the community and of First Presbyterian Church. After retirement in 1970 he and his wife traveled extensively, including a 72-day bus trip from London though Iran and Afghanistan to Nepal. He has written two books about his experiences in the 10th Mountain Division.

Harris continues to be active with church, Vancouver Symphony, luk tung kuen exercise classes at his Heritage Place condo and volunteering at the American Cancer Society’s Discovery Shop.

Dusenbery’s daughter, Diane Waggoner, lives in Portland, his son, David, lives in Atlanta. He also has two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Friends at Heritage Place will have a birthday party for Dusenbery and later, there will be a large family gathering to celebrate his birthday.

Don't Do Stupid Stuff Mugs