Harris, N. Neil, age 78, of Port Richey, Florida passed away peacefully on May 11, 2019 surrounded by his wife Martha of the home; daughters, Nadine Harris Peel of Mechanicsville, Virginia, and Nina Harris Knapp of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Neil was born in Lafayette, Indiana on June 9, 1940.
He had a number of careers in his life, having been a scientific and medical illustrator and photographer for the Purdue Veterinary School in West Lafayette, Indiana for 11 years; editor of THE NUMISMATIST, the official journal of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well as the Director of Photography and Operations for nearly 15 years. He had been a consultant for a number of numismatic firms since leaving ANA in 1988, including serving as a photographic consultant to the numismatic division of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
In addition, Neil had been a published author and medallic sculptor well known in that field for more than 55 years. He had designed and sculpted over 50 commissioned medals, and had won numerous awards in graphics, photography, numismatics, medallic art, writing and publishing. Over the course of many years, he had done extensive research for a book on the works of John Sinnock, the eighth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, who designed the Order of the Purple Heart, Franklin Half Dollar, and the Roosevelt Dime, as well as hundreds of other government and private medallic pieces.
In 1998, Neil returned to his birthplace of Lafayette, Indiana to care for his ailing mother, who passed away in May of 2001. He began a new career as staff photographer at Douglas Studios, photographing senior portraits, school events and all sport events for Jefferson High School, his alma mater. He also was a photographer for sports and school events for 17 other high schools in the area. He retired from that position in 2008, and pursued private photography commissions. In 2010, he was honored with the Jefferson High School Alumni Hall of Fame Award for his extensive career during which he was a mentor to many students.
In addition to his wife and daughters, he is survived by his son-in-law, Ras Peel; grandson, Cory Peel of Virginia; granddaughter, Ashley Knapp of Colorado Springs; step-daughter, Lisa Gunggoll and her husband David of the Chicago area, and her son Ryan Miller of Dallas, Texas, stepson of David Gunggoll.
Neil will be dearly missed by his loved ones and everyone whose lives he had touched. Official services will not be held. Any donations in his name may be made to the American Cancer Society.