He was born 27 September 1925 to James Alma and Rachel Leonia Butt in Sugar City, Idaho, where he spent his youth and graduated from Sugar City High School before enlisting in the Navy. He served as a Navy Corpsman assigned to the Marines during the invasion of Japan and the occupation of China.
Upon his return, Don enrolled at Rick’s College where he soon met and married Janeen Wasden in the LDS Idaho Falls Temple on 20 December 1946. They first resided in Salt Lake City where Don graduated with honors from the University of Utah. Soon after, they made their home in Idaho Falls and then Shelley, Idaho where Don worked for Westinghouse at the National Reactor Testing Station. In 1967, Don and Janeen, along with her brother, Barry Wasden and wife Joyce, embarked on a new business venture, opening and operating Hallmark Card and Gift Stores. The Harris family first moved to Newport Beach, California, and opened the first store. The family next located to Las Vegas, Nevada opening the second of what became a large chain of stores, eventually spanning several western states.
Retirement years were spent living in Virgin and later Washington, Utah. Don was known for his ambition, energy and diligence. He was ever busy with numerous projects and hobbies including building, gardening and writing historical and fictional novels.
He had a beautiful tenor voice and performed in numerous church and civic functions, including lead roles in productions throughout the years. He participated in many church and community choirs. Janeen was an accomplished piano player and was ever at his side accompanying him as he performed.
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christs of Latter-day Saints and served in many teaching and leadership positions, including the Bishopric. He and Janeen served a mission in Nauvoo, IL
Don and Janeen loved travel and saw much of the world in their many trips together. They raised 5 children and were blessed with 30 grandchildren and 81-plus great-grandchildren.