Michael John Harris

May 13, 1966 ~ August 15, 2020 (age 54)


Michael J. Harris, known as Rex to his NOLA friends, 54, of New Orleans, LA, passed away on August 15, 2020, after a heroic battle with pancreatic cancer.

Michael was born in Hartford, CT and spent his early years in Simsbury, CT before moving to Paxton, MA and graduating from Wachusett Regional High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in geology from St. Lawrence University and a master’s degree in sedimentary geology from The Ohio State University. While at St. Lawrence University, Michael was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa, president of the Outdoor Club, and played rugby.

Michael was Regional Discipline Lead for Production Geology at Shell Oil Company, where he began his career 29 years ago. He became a trusted expert in geologic sciences and spent his career exploring the Gulf of Mexico. He was known by his colleagues as principled, driven and an outstanding collaborator and was passionate for developing the capabilities of early-career geoscientists, serving as a supportive mentor. Michael was a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Geological Society of America.

Michael loved sharing his passions with his son, Alastair, who embodies his father’s spirit. His family and friends will remember him for his love of the outdoors, his kindness, and for his love of music. Michael had a special way of making everyone feel welcome and never turned away a guest when they knocked on his door. He had a special fondness for Cape Cod, where he spent many summers throughout his life. Michael enjoyed coaching Carrollton Boosters youth baseball and playing softball. Michael maintained his love of the Red Sox and Patriots, enjoying their championships and engaging in debates over which team had a better quarterback. Michael always enjoyed local festivals and parades, but his favorite was Jazz Fest where he was surrounded by his tribe. “Let there be songs to fill the air.”

Michael will be lovingly missed by his son, Alastair, of New Orleans, LA; father, David Harris, of North Brookfield, MA; brother David Harris and his wife Mandie, of Worcester, MA; sister Jen Rice and her husband Steve, of Brattleboro, VT; nieces, Kayla and Molly; nephews, Jeremy, Samuel, and Ryan; aunts and cousins whom he loved catching up with during his trips back home; and his dear NOLA family. Michael was predeceased by his mother, Sheila Harris.

A celebration of Michael’s life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Michael’s honor to Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore P.O Box 550, Wellfleet, MA 02667.

Arrangements by JACOB SCHOEN & SON, 3827 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70119. To view and sign the family guestbook, please go to

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