YARMOUTH — Robert “Bob” Hulbert Harris, 80, of Yarmouth, died January 17, 2012 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House with his family at his side.

He was born November 6, 1931 in Portland, Maine, son of Reginald Hulbert Harris and Alice Eugenia Hupper. After spending the first years of his life in Cape Elizabeth and Gorham the family moved to Boothbay Harbor. He graduated from Boothbay Harbor High School in 1949. He was active and studious: he enjoyed football, basketball and track, and in 1947 he won the George B. Kenniston Junior Prize Speaking Contest for reading “Athletics in Education” written by his father.

Bob attended Colby College in 1949 and 1950. After leaving in 1951 to join the Air Force he was invited back to the Colby class reunion of 1953.

Bob went through Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and Technical Supply School Training at Lowry AFB in Denver, Colorado, eventually joining the Technical Supply Squadron, U.S. Air Force in Texas. He was stationed at Nousara AFB near Casablanca, Morocco for almost two years, returning to Long Island, New York and Pittsburgh, PA where he worked in space defense. He was honorably discharged as an Airman First Class on January 3, 1955, with a Good Conduct medal and a National Defense Service medal.

Bob married Barbara Gail Irwin on January 29, 1955 in Perrysville, Pennsylvania.

After leaving the Air Force, he moved to Auburndale, Massachusetts, and worked for a yearbook publishing company. He soon enrolled in Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts and earned a B.S. in Speech in June, 1959. While attending college, Bob worked at a rug importing company on Newbury Street in Boston, enjoying the memories of his travels stirred by their beautiful rugs and art work.

In 1960 Bob moved to Yarmouth, Maine, and became an English and History teacher for Greely High School in Cumberland. He helped people with speech problems, managed the debate team, directed the yearbook and also directed some theatrical productions.

Bob soon joined the business world, selling printers for Addressograph Multigraph of Cleveland, Ohio. In 1962 he joined the insurance industry, where he excelled for almost 50 years. He based himself in Portland and became an insurance agent for Connecticut Mutual on October 1, 1962. He was a Chartered Life Underwriter and a Chartered Financial Consultant. Bob continued his loyal relationship with Connecticut Mutual through its 1996 merger with MassMutual until his retirement in 2009. During his time with MassMutual he qualified for the Leader’s Award 7 years, the Million Dollar Round Table 7 years, the National Sales Achievements 2 years and the National Quality Award for 24 years. He was also very involved in the Maine Association of Life Underwriters. Business associates note that he was one of the most caring and giving professionals they knew; he worked hard at being available to others and teaching newcomers the business. He is described as a “man’s man”, a mentor to many and true to himself as well as his clients and associates. His integrity, compassion and great sense of humor always shone through. He knew how to work a room and had a wonderful smile and engaging manner.

He was actively involved in local politics as an ardent Republican and for a time worked as a Lobbyist in Augusta. He was on numerous business, community and charitable committees and counsels: a founding member of Yarmouth Rescue, the Yarmouth Clam Festival and Royal River Park. He was also active in the First Parish Congregational Church in

Yarmouth in the 1960’s and 70’s and returned to the church in 2007.

Bob and Barbara had 3 children, Karen, Scott and Debbie. He greatly enjoyed participating in their lives and was a father figure to many of their friends.

Bob loved to travel. He went back to Morocco in 1987 with family and friends. He visited Paris and traveled all over the United States, including Hawaii where he took a helicopter tour into a volcano. When his granddaughter Rikki graduated from high school they went on a whirlwind multi-country tour of Europe; when his grandson Scott Jr. graduated, it was Alaska. He was always up for an adventure. Traveling with Bob was also an adventure, as you could not go anywhere without him seeing someone he knew. He also loved the ocean and sailing.

With his daughter Debbie he “discovered” the tiny mill village of Harrisville, New Hampshire in the 1970′ s. Through genealogical research he was so proud to find out that he was a direct descendent of the Harris family that built the town. Serving as an Incorporator with Historic Harrisville Inc., he became deeply involved with the local community and committed to its’ path to registration on the National Register of Historic Places. A man on a mission, he organized a Harris family reunion in 1996 that brought previously unknown relatives together from across the country.

In his later years Bob’s quest for adventure continued as he attempted to summit Katahdin and participated in 2 sprint distance triathlons with Scott and Karen, even after suffering the first of what would be four debilitating strokes. Though the first three strokes hit him hard and knocked him down, he fought back after each one to regain his independence and zest for life.

He was fiercely independent, living life on his own terms and in his own way, and lived each day to the fullest. He adored his grandchildren and made it a point to spend as much time with them as possible.

He is survived by his daughter Karen Harris Connolly and her husband Robert of Hollis, his son Scott Harris and his partner Merrily Castro of Yarmouth, daughter Deborah Harris Midgette and her husband Dameron and their children Leila, Rowan and Will of Brunswick, granddaughter Rikki Harris of Portland, grandson Scott Harris Jr. and his wife Kari of Rochester NH, sister Eleanor Aldrich and her husband Arnold of Vienna VA, stepdaughters Robyn Violette and her husband Dana of Portland and Jennifer Banks and her husband Jay of Gorham as well as many more nieces, nephews, cousins and grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be 5-7 pm. on Friday, January 27th at Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth. A Memorial Service and Celebration of Bob’s life will be held Saturday, January 28th at 11 am at First Parish Congregational Church, 116 Main Street, Yarmouth. Burial will be at Riverside Cemetery in the spring. Please visit www.lindquistfuneralhome.c om to view a video collage of Bob’s life and to share your condolences, memories and tributes with his family. Please consider donations in Bob’s memory to: Hospice of Southern Maine, 180 US Route One, Suite 1, Scarborough, ME 04074