Robert Lewis Harris (born 1937)
At 6 feet, 7 inches, Bob Harris was easy to notice.
He always cut a dashing figure — with his signature tasseled loafers, a brocaded silk vest in summer, a crimson plaid Christmas jacket or some other elegant, attention-getting attire whenever the occasion called for it. Unless his work as an attorney for the Landegger family’s pulp and paper concerns required his presence in Europe or another far-flung part of the globe, Bob rarely missed a weekend on Shelter Island, where he bought his house on Cartwright Road in 1976.
Robert Lewis Harris’ journey ended peacefully there on June 20, 2015. He was 77. He had battled hard against leukemia for eight months.
Though he kept an apartment in the city, Bob regarded Shelter Island as home. His love of the Island manifested itself in many ways. He was a generous contributor to numerous Island institutions. Each summer, at the Mashomack dinner dance, he bid vigorously on such auction items as the lobster bake and the Christmas cocktail party. As the bids grew higher and most dropped out, Harris raised his bidding paddle again and again.
On several occasions, Bob and one other bidder dueled it out until Mike Laspia offered to do two cocktail parties or two lobster bakes. The results for both Bob’s friends and Mashomack’s budget were most felicitous.
Bob also frequently served at Historical Society events. He’d pour punch or make brownies or do whatever was needed to make a success of whatever event. He underwrote the production of a book about the collection of Delftware donated to theHistorical Society by the late Gill Patterson. Then, in the last weeks of his life, he also provided the funds to build cabinets in which the centuries-old pieces could be safely displayed.
Bob’s generosity was not limited to public giving. When a friend was throwing a bash or had a birthday or needed cheering for whatever reason, Bob sent flowers — always via Becky Smith at Shelter Island Florist. He also frequently turned up with a platter of lemon squares or a casserole he’d spotted in a cooking magazine — all ingredients purchased at the IGA.
A few years ago, when the husband of an East End friend was going through the rigors of cancer treatment at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, Bob took the subway uptown one evening each week to take the woman out to dinner, thereby giving her a brief respite from the wear and tear of being at her husband’s bedside.
He also quietly participated in clean-up events at Mashomack and took on the role of conservator for a friend who was being swirled into the mists of dementia.
For fun, he kayaked the waters of Coecles Harbor, cooked elaborate and delicious meals to serve at his kitchen table and sailed the Island’s roads in a 1995 Buick Park Avenue, nicknamed “The Galleon” that was carefully restored by a skilled Island craftsman.
His city pleasures included ballet — he was a devoted balletomane and a donor to the American Ballet Theater — the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Opera. At the opera, he always insisted his guests sip champagne during the intervals.
There were moments, when displeased, Bob could show flashes of asperity, scathing wit or hauteur. But he far more often displayed the playful, curious, loyal and charitable sides of his nature. He particularly delighted in taking special guests out onto the head of one of the Chrysler building’s gargoyles, to view from vertiginous height the marvels of Manhattan below and feel what it must be to be one of the flying gargoyles. Access was via his office door.
Bob was born in the Holly Hills neighborhood of St. Louis in 1937 to Robert Lewis and Faryl Johnson Harris. He earned his bachelor’s degree at DePauw University in 1959 and an M.A. at the University of Missouri in 1964.
After three years on Okinawa with American Express’ banking division, he decided he wasn’t cut out for the financial world and headed to New York. There, for several years, he joined J. Walter Thompson and the “mad men” of the advertising world as assistant treasurer. But that interest too proved fleeting. When he finally finished law school at NYU in 1970, he’d found his calling.
He joined Black Clawson, the Landegger family worldwide pulp and paper machinery enterprise, a few years after completing law school and remained with them until his death. He prided himself on the Rolex watch given him by Carl Landegger, the head of the firm. The watch is engraved on the back, “Thank you. Carl.”
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He discovered Shelter Island when the late Robert Braunschweig, also an attorney and a weekend Islander, invited him here to work on a case that concerned them both. Bob looked around, liked what he saw and, a few months later, became an Islander. His parents joined him here after his father’s retirement and remained Islanders themselves until their deaths.
Bob is survived by his wife, Svetlana Kluge Harris of New York, and his brother, Stuart J. Harris of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Plans for a gathering honoring Bob’s memory are incomplete.
— Janet Roach
Miss Svetlana Kluge, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, and Robert Lewis Harris are planning to be married Sept. 1 in Nyack,
Mr. and Mrs. Michael C. Kluge of 50 Central Park W e s t have announced their daughter’s engagement to the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis S. Harris of St. Louis.
The prospective bride, a magna cum laude graduate of Barnard College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kap‐ pa. expects to receive a Ph.D. degree in European history in January. She was a Fulbright scholar in Paris and a Woodrow Wilson, Columbia Uni‐ versity and Burgess Fellow.
Her father ls president of the Integrated Container Service in New York.
Mr. Harris. administrative assistant to the Latin-American vice president of the J. Walter Thompson Company, attends the New York University School of Law.
After studying at Cornell University, he received a bachelor’s degree from De‐ Pauw University and a master's degree in economics from the University of Missouri.
His father owns the Harris Audio Craft Company. stereo‐ phonic components, in St. Louis.
STUART J HARRIS
1988 (Sep 04)
Davis-Standard (Black Clawson converting Machinery) which makes equipment for the paper converting industry and Interface Performance Materials which manufactures and markets advanced materials, sealing solutions, thermal and acoustic management systems, and specialty products for applications in light- and heavy-duty diesel, automotive, small engines/lawn and garden, industrial and consumer, and related industries worldwide
black clawson system INIS: 2000-04-12; ETDE: 1976-03-22 Waste processing system for materials and energy recovery by wet processing of municipal wastes. (Prior to September1994, this was a valid ETDE descriptor.) USE waste processing
https://www.nytimes.com/1976/01/05/archives/karl-f-landegger-dead-at-70-builder-of-pulp-and-paper-mills.html / 1976-01-05-nytimes-karl-f-landegger-dead-at-70.pdf
Karl F. Landagger, a leading builder of pulp and paper mills throughout the world, died of a heart attack Friday in Eleuthera, the Bahamas. He was 70 years old and lived here and in Ridgefield, Conn.
Mr. Landegger was chairman of Parsons & Whittemore Inc., 200 Park Avenue. In 1944 Pe. acquired control of the concern, then a pulp and paper exporter, and diversified it.
Today the company produces pulp and paper in its own mills, engineers and constructs pulp, paper and Saw mills, and through a subsidiary, the Black Clawson Company, manufactures paper rnachirery, machnes for plastic processing, cementpipe making and solid waste reclamatirm systems.
In 1931 Mr. Landegger bought his first paper mill at Wets in his native Austria, for $5.000 cash and a $200.000 note. Foreseeing difficulties with Hitler, he left Austria in 1938 and went to London to work for Lyddon and Company, a pulpmerchandising conceal.
He moved here in 1940 to set up a branch for Lyddon and later gained control of Parsons 8: Whittemore, Black Clawson and Lyddon, his former employer.
In partnership with Lyddon he began to build. a mill in Portugal in 11954. From then urtil the late 1960's he specialized in building mills in underdeveloped couatries and in Europe, before turning to this continent.
Surviving are his wife, Lena; twc sons, Carl and George, and a daughter, Mon Ling Helena.
A funeral mass will be offered at 11 A.M. tomorrow in St. Ignatius Loyola Roman, Catholic Church, 980 Park Avenue.