Basil Harris

Basil Harris Jr. & Mary Harris

Basil Harris IV, Gillian Jorgensen, Nora Jorgensen, Ruchi Harris

Jesse Marie Harris, Alexandre Rolland, Makenzie Rolland

Basil and Mary spent nearly 50 years together before Basil’s passing in January 2017. They are blessed with two beautiful children, Basil IV and Jesse Marie and their spouses Gillian Jorgensen and Alexandre Rolland, as well as three perfectly precious granddaughters, Nora, Ruchi and Makenzie.

Basil strode through life confidently and gracefully as an educator, an active community member and volunteer, and a gifted musician. His skill on the golf links and poise on the ski slopes attracted many friends, and he was well-loved for his quick wit and easy humor.

Basil shone brightest in life through the unique and extraordinary relationships he shared with others as husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin and cherished friend. His easy smile warmed each and every space he inhabited. His voice touched the lives of many through song and guitar-playing cultivated over a lifetime of passion for music. His unwavering love captured the heart of his wife and profoundly shaped the lives of their children.

Photos, original compositions, as well as the official obituary can be found on Basil’s memorial website at

Mary cared for her beloved Basil at their home in Brookline, New Hampshire, during the three years of his illness. Prior to this she worked as a hospice chaplain and psychotherapist. She enjoys visiting her children and grandchildren in Seattle and Montreal and looks forward to traveling more in the future.

Outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, swimming and biking give her great joy, as do indoor pastimes such as singing, making music, practicing Tai Chi, Zumba dancing, playing bananagrams, or reading. She has a network of wonderful friends and family who light up her life! Her deepest passion is for her practice of meditation and the spiritual path (with her grandchildren coming in a close second, of course).

Basil and Mary’s son Basil IV is married to Gillian Jorgensen of Moses Lake, WA. They live in Seattle with their two daughters, Nora (9) and Ruchi (5).

Basil is a professional actor, writer, and musician, appearing in film and television, on stage, and in web serials. He also works as Senior Content Writer for the Internet hosting and domain provider, Namecheap, Inc. An active member of both the Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA performers’ unions, Basil is also an advocate for professional artists and performers, serving as a founding board member of the Seattle chapter of the Alliance of Professional Performers Northwest. More info can be found at

Gillian is a playwright, teaching artist, and curriculum specialist for organizations such as Seattle Children’s Theatre and Seattle Public Theater, and leads creative drama and performance residencies for public schools throughout the Seattle area.

When not expanding the creative minds of the Youth of Today/Leaders of Tomorrow, Gillian serves on the PTSA board and skates (as “Madeleine Str’angle”) for Potential Fresh Meat, a local roller derby scrimmage league. Both girls have caught the derby bug as well, with Nora skating (as “Whackoon”) for the Seattle Derby Brats team Lemon Drops and Ruchi (as “Scardevoir”) for the fledgeling flag derby team, The Littles. Basil has joined in the family fever for small-wheeled sports by taking up longboard street surfing and a robust health insurance plan.

This spring and summer will see Basil traveling to Ohio’s Tantrum Theater to appear as Nick Bottom in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Nora is taking to the stage as well in the role of Yellow Dog in “Go,Dog. Go!”, Ruchi will be gearing up for kindergarten in the fall, but not before attending a week-long roller derby clinic, and Gillian will be devising ways to make their annual family camping trip to Mt. Rainier National Forest even better than last year.

Basil and Mary’s daughter Jesse, her husband Alexandre Rolland of Saint-Jérôme, Québec, and their daughter Makenzie (21 months) live in Montréal, Canada in a newly remodeled home one block up from the beautiful Saint Lawrence River waterfront in the French-English bilingual borough of Lachine.

Jesse, a University of New Hampshire graduate, moved to Montréal in 2002 after first falling in love with the city for its aesthetics and charm, and then with what eventually turned out to be her future husband, for the same two reasons. Jesse has her M.A. from Concordia University in Montréal and works as a Project Manager for an eLearning consulting services company in the city. Jesse loves DYI renovation projects, making music, and playing pick-up team sports. Always up for a challenge, she also recently spent a year taking helicopter piloting lessons and got so far as to successfully solo pilot several times with a sandbag as a passenger.

Alex, with a degree in Business Administration from the Université du Québec à Montréal, stays busy during the week managing the envelope manufacturing business his father started over 35 years ago. When not at work or home with the family, he works off his energy climbing mountains around the world. Alex is currently tackling the mountaineering challenge of climbing the Seven Summits, and has already bested Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft) and Europe’s Mount Elbrus (18,510 ft), and has twice made it 20,670 of the 22,838 feet of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, but was forced to turn back due to uncooperative weather.

Jesse and Alex’s passion for sports, music, Sci-Fi, and adventure keeps them busy, though many of these things are temporarily taking the back seat while they discover the joys of parenting their beautiful, brilliant, and ever-energetic bilingual toddler Makenzie.