DAVID WILLIAM HARSHA, Ph.D., passed away peacefully on November 11, 2019. He was 70.
Harsha earned his undergraduate degree at Kansas University and his doctorate in Physical Anthropology from Tulane University.
He was a leading researcher for the Bogalusa Heart Study, helping to understand how proper diet and exercise can achieve positive long-term health outcomes. He worked for more than 20 years at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, continuing his work to understand and address heart disease risk factors. Dr. Harsha was one of 12 children.
Harsha was uncompromising in his belief in justice, equality and the dignity of others, and imparted this onto his family, who were his greatest source of pride and devotion.
He is survived by his wife, Gayle Baer, Ph.D., and his children Celeste Morvant, Seth Baer-Harsha, Aaron Baer-Harsha, and Sonya Lydick, Ph.D.
Family and friends attended a funeral service at Tharp-Sontheimer-Tharp Funeral Home, 1600 N. Causeway Blvd, Metairie, LA 70001 on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm. The service was jointly conducted by Rabbi David Gerber and Emeritus Rabbi Robert Loewy.Interment followed immediately at Gates of Prayer Cemetery on St. Joseph St.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorial donations in his memory to the ACLU or the American Heart Association.