Chris Charles Harnish was born in Scottsbluff, Neb., on Dec. 11, 1939, to Evelyn Vera Jurgens and Ivan Henry Harnish. He lived the first years of his life in Nebraska and Wyoming moving to Climax, Colo., in 1948. After graduating Max Schott High School in Climax, he then entered the United States Marine Corp in 1958.
While serving in the marines, Chris’s family moved to Leadville, Colo., in 1962 when the entire town of Climax was relocated there. After his active duty from the Marines, Chris joined his family in Leadville and began to work for the Climax Molybdenum Company. He continued to work for the company and its subsidiaries until his retirement in 1995.
Chris met and married Patricia Glover of Midland, Texas in 1963. One daughter, Christina Carrie, was born to this union in 1964. After their divorce, Chris met Mary Lou Jakopic of Leadville, Colo. They married in 1967 and had two sons, Krisjan Stefan Harnish and Kasey Sean Harnish.
Chris and his family moved to Gunnison, Colo., in 1977. Mary Lou and Chris resided there until Nov. 1, 2019. They had decided to move to Los Gatos, Calif., in hopes of seeking some relief for Chris’ health, by being in warmer, milder climate and lower elevation, as well as to be closer to their son, Kasey, and his family.
Unfortunately, as Chris and Mary Lou started their journey to their new home, Chris was stricken by a gallbladder attack and was unable to recover. He put up a valiant fight but ultimately succumbed to his disease on Nov. 18, 2019. Chris was preceded in death by his son, Krisjan Stefan (1970-1987), his brother Dale Harnish and his parents Ivan and Evelyn Harnish.
Chris was a wonderful provider, diligent worker and a force to be reckoned with. He was a loyal friend who was always willing to lend a hand. He loved to be outdoors — horseback riding, hunting and working in the yard were a few of his favorite activities. He was always working on a project — replacing the deck, fixing the bathroom or simply engineering things in his mind. Chris loved his family and held them above all. Chris had an infectious laugh — whether watching That 70’s Show or American Graffiti you would always end up laughing with him.
Chris is survived by his wife Mary Lou, son Kasey (Carolyn) California, daughter Christina Barrile (Joe) Texas, grandchildren Brittany Barrile Brown (Justin), Joey Barrile, Bailey Barrile, Krisjan Mair Harnish, Natasha Harnish, Vanessa Harnish as well as many nieces and nephews including Glenn Massey (Alexandra) and sisters Peggy Harnish and Linda Faulkenthaul and their families. Plus many dear friends he held dear in his heart.
A service for Chris will be held in Gunnison in the spring or early summer of 2020, at which time he will be laid to rest beside son Krisjan Stefan. The family requests memorial contributions be sent to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, (www.PHAssociation.org) or to the Scleroderma Research Foundation (srfcure.org).