***AT THIS TIME SERVICES WILL PROCEED AS PLANNED. ANY CHANGES WILL BE PROVIDED IN THIS SPACE***
John Huntington “Hunt” Harris II (74) of Naperville, IL formerly of Moline, IL died on December 20th, 2023, in Naperville after electing to begin hospice following multiple medical complications.
A memorial service will be held at Trimble Funeral Home at Trimble Pointe, 701 12th Street, Moline, on Saturday, January 13th 2024 at 12pm. A celebration of life will follow from 1-4pm in CityView Celebrations on the lower level at Trimble Pointe. In lieu of flowers, please honor Hunt’s passion of supporting non-profits by donating to your charity of choice.
Hunt was born on June 13,1949 to John Huntington Harris and Lucille Hanson Harris. He attended Moline public schools where he graduated co-valedictorian of his 1967 class. In 2005 he was inducted into the Moline High School Hall of Fame. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Pomona College with a degree in Economics and won the Pendleton Prize in Economics in 1971. He graduated from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business with a master’s degree from the Sloan Program in 1979.
Hunt married Diane Ferguson Wohlfeil on December 21st, 1974. They raised their family in Moline. They moved to Naperville, IL in 2021 to be closer to their son, Alex (Molly) and his family. Daughter Jennifer Harris lives in Boston, MA.
Hunt joined Star Forms, Inc., a family business, after college graduation in 1971, becoming the company’s president in 1979. In 1984 he and a group of fellow managers and investors purchased the company from the other family interests. Bowater purchased their interests in 1986 and Hunt remained as president until retiring in 1988. In 1995, he and two former Star Forms executives purchased Isabel Bloom, LLC where Hunt was president until selling the firm to three of its managers in 2011.
The Harris’s founded the Hunt and Diane Harris Family Foundation in 1986 with proceeds from the sale of Star Forms. In 2000 they and their children founded the John H. Harris III Memorial Foundation in honor of their son and brother who died that year. Over the years the foundations have donated over $8 million to non-profit organizations based mainly in the Quad Cities. The foundations are now the Harris Family Foundation Fund at the Quad City Community Foundation.
Involvement with charitable organizations was a focus for both Hunt and Diane during their lifetimes. Hunt served on the United Way of the Quad Cities board for over 25 years beginning in the mid-1980’s. He chaired the 1989 United Way campaign and was chair of the board from 2007-2009 when he led an effort to reorganize the board for increased effectiveness. He and Diane founded the Leadership Gifts Program and the De Tocqueville Society and served as their chair for several years. The Harris’s endowed a fund for Board Governance Training in conjunction with the United Way and the Quad City Community Foundation to encourage better governance of Quad Cities area non-profit organizations.
Realizing the importance of teaching free enterprise to youth, Hunt taught Project Business and Applied Economic through Junior Achievement in the 1980’s. He served ten years on the JA board and chaired the organization from 1988-89. He served on JA’s International Task Force from 1992-94 and founded the Quad Cities Area Business Hall of Fame in 1990. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001. He received the JA national organization’s Gold Leadership Award in 1992.
Hunt was proud of his involvement in the formation of what is now Unity Point Trinity. He joined the newly formed board of United Health System in 1989 after the merger of Moline Public Hospital and Lutheran Hospital in Moline. He became chair of United’s board in 1990 and was instrumental in negotiating the merger with Franciscan Hospital in 1992 to form Trinity Regional Health System. He served as Trinity’s first board chair for two years and continued on the board until 1999. Hunt believes that this merger and the subsequent formation of Genesis Health System significantly raised the level of healthcare in the Quad Cities.
In addition to these organizations Hunt served on the boards of the First Congregational Church of Moline, the Moline Public Schools Foundation, the Figge Art Museum and the Putnam Museum. He and Diane chaired the Moline High School Project Graduation in 1989. He served on the Quad City Civic Center Authorities’ Board and was chair from 2007-2009. He volunteered for the Quad City Community Foundation as a liaison with its investment advisors and on its Investment Committee. He served on Governor Jim Edgar’s transition team in 1991 and on the Rock Island County Facilities Task Force in 2013-14. He also was chair and a founder of the Committee for Better City Government. He had served on the board of Quad City Bank and Trust for 24 years.
Photography and international travel have long been favorite pastimes. Hunt’s photography has been shown at several local and regional galleries. His photography website, www.World-Scenes.com, have been viewed by people from around the world. He and Diane have traveled to all seven continents and over 60 countries enjoying the diversity of peoples, cultures and landscapes worldwide. He and Diane especially enjoyed traveling with their children and grandchildren. In earlier years he enjoyed scuba diving and water sports. He is also known for his puns and inappropriate jokes that he spontaneously spouted at numerous board meetings with requisite groans from those in attendance.
Hunt is survived by his wife, Diane; son Alex (Molly), Naperville, IL; daughter, Jennifer, Boston, MA; sisters Kathy Wolfe, Bow, WA and Celia (Mark) Tuttle, Tucson, AZ; brother, Scott Harris, Naples, FL and four granddaughters Kallyn, Brynnah, Delainey and Tessa. He was preceded in death by his parents, son John and brother-in-law Brian Wolfe. He and the family wish to thank their many friends who have graced their lives.
Hunt’s family invites friends to share stories and condolences at TrimbleFuneralHomes.com.