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Harris George Mirkin, 76, of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away at home on May 30, 2013. Harris was born in New York City in 1936 to the late Samuel and Rae (Greenberg) Mirkin. He earned his B.A at Hobart College (1957), his M.A. at the New School for Social Research (1960), and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1967. Between his M.A. and Ph.D. he and his first wife, Lois Sue Mirkin, were part of the Ethiopia I Project as Peace Corp Volunteers (1962-1964).
During Harris’ 45 years of teaching Political Science at UMKC as an Associate Professor of Political Science, he served the University as Co-Director of the UMKC Honors Program (1987-2000), Secretary and Chairman of the Faculty Senate as well as the College of Arts & Sciences and Chairman of the Political Science Department.
He also taught and influenced the hundreds of students he advised, who participated in the Honors Program, and who took his courses in American Political Thought, Political Philosophy, Politics of Sex and Gender over the years.
Harris was an avid bicycle rider and a wonderful man–so full of intelligence, humor and fun. He was a real presence and contributor to political discourse and understanding in our community. Harris was a decent human being, a devoted husband, father and grandfather He always displayed a friendly face.
Harris is survived by his wife, Kathleen Finegan, his daughter Abby Mueller and son-in-law Tim Mueller (of Kansas City); grandsons Hunter and Carson Mueller; his son Timothy Nufire (of San Francisco) and daughter-in-law Ali Nufire; and his sister Lila Fisch (of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey).
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Professor Harris Mirkin Study Abroad Scholarship Endowment Fund, UMKC Foundation, c/o Karen English, SH 107, 5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110
A memorial service will be planned for the fall at UMKC. Notice of the time and place will be posted in the Kansas City Star’s Classified Funeral Notices.