E. Harlin Staires, former vice president for Administration-Services at Northern Arizona University and retired professor in the College of Education, died May 10, 2012, in Sun City.
Dr. Staires and his twin sister, Helen (Dethrow), were born Christmas Day, 1925, in Alton, Mo., the fifth and six children of Ode Alvin and Eva Lee (Clay) Staires.
He left home at 17 to enlist in the U.S. Navy and spent 24 months in the Pacific Theater as a hospital corpsman stationed on Tinian and aboard LST 910. Upon returning from the war, he enrolled in college using the G.I. Bill and earned three degrees, including a doctorate in education from the University of Missouri at Columbia. There he met and married Mary Kathryn (Kit) Stoll on April 5, 1947. During their 65 years together, they had three children, Steven Lee Staires (Rita Faye), Deborah Sue Staires, and Phillip Dan Staires (Ramona).
The couple had five grandchildren, Susan Lynn Staires, Kathryn Brooke Moore (Steven), Jacob Staires, Lucas Staires, and MacKenzie Staires, and one great-granddaughter, Brooke Elizabeth Moore.
Dr. Staires spent more than 40 years in public education, including high school principal and superintendent of schools in southern Kansas City, dean of education at Central Missouri State University, and vice president for Administration-Services under President J. Lawrence Walkup and professor of educational administration at NAU, retiring in 1990. Dr. Staires helped shaped the minds and careers of thousands of young people and will be remembered for helping prepare the next generation for the challenges they face ahead.
Dr. Staires was an avid outdoorsman and never tired of hunting and fishing with his entire family. He was active in scouting and was the founding chairman of the Arrowhead District, member of the Kansas City Council and the National Council of Boy Scouts, and served as the president of the Grand Canyon Council.
A celebration of his life will held on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at the Sunland Mortuary, 5826 Del Webb Blvd., Sun City, AZ 85351.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Boy Scouts of America, Grand Canyon Council, online or by calling 602-955-7747. Share your memories on Facebook. Cards or letters may be sent to the family via Debbie Staires, 1604 N. Date Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281.