Franklin Kent Harris

May 2, 1942 – March 17, 2024


Franklin Kent Harris, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family, on Sunday, March 17.

Dad was born to Franklin Harris and Ivie Eastman on May 2, 1942, in Woodruff, Utah. He was raised in Evanston by his father and his uncle, James Harris. Although Dad had a difficult upbringing, he had a strong work ethic and a strong set of principles that guided him.

He was a jack of all trades in his early life and had the freedom to explore various professions. That all changed when he met the love of his life, Gayla Besso. Mom and Dad married on Sept. 24, 1965, and later had their marriage solemnized in the LDS temple in Salt Lake City.

During their 58 years together, Mom and Dad were always at each other’s side, and Dad never left the house without telling Mom that he loved her. They eventually settled in Utah, where Dad began a long career at HAFB, where he advanced to program manager and traveled to all sorts of exotic locales, including Egypt, Jordan, Greece and so many more.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Weber State while working and raising a family. In addition to his work and school, Dad was proud to volunteer, whether it be the fire department, union or the sheriff’s office.

Dad was a dive team member for the Weber County Recovery Team. While this work was emotionally difficult, Dad felt a moral obligation to help others find their loved ones.

Above all, Dad was a family man, and he spent so much of his free time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Each of us have our own special memories of him whether it was camping, fishing, hunting, rodeos, soccer games or road trips to find the second largest ball of string.

Our incredible father was a mentor to us all. While we are struggling to imagine life without him, we know he is with us in spirit and will continue to be our guiding star.

Dad is survived by his three children, Jessica Talbot (Mark), Jeanette Espinoza (Ted) and Franklin Harris II (Sarah); his grandchildren, Randy Edwards (Jessica), Brittney Edwards, Kendra Bambrough, Beau Edwards (Haylee), Nikki Navarro (Michael), Natalie Colleluori (Matt), Jack Harris, Harper Harris and Charlotte Harris; his great-grandchildren, Paislie Edwards, Kenslie Edwards, Grayson Edwards, Ava Edwards, Aiden Leon Edwards, and the newest family member, Kaladin Navarro.

Dad was preceded in death by his father, his mother and his favorite uncle, James. We love you, Daddy, and we will strive to make you proud of us.

A celebration of life will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, at the LDS Church at 201 Sage St., Evanston.