Popular Vancouver Island businessman Tom Harris passed away Wednesday night in Roche Harbour on San Juan Island.
Harris owned several car dealerships and cell phone outlets in B.C. and Alberta. He reportedly fell off a friend’s boat. A passerby found his body a few hours later.
The exact cause of death has not been released.
He was in his late 60s and was said to have been offering business advice to a friend in Roche Harbour.
Businessman and Philanthropist
Harris had a large presence in the local business community but also a reputation as a generous philanthropist and family man.
Some of his many accolades include being named Nanaimo’s 2004 “citizen of the year”, working on the boards of the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation, the Nanaimo United Way, and the Nanaimo Community Foundation, as well as campaigning to build new quarters for St. John Ambulance in Nanaimo.
Harris was also the chairman of the B.C. Automobile Dealers Association and the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, and vice-chairman on the board of B.C. Ferries.
He leaves behind his wife Christine and five children: Michael, Antony, Elizabeth, Stephanie and Cynthia.