Notes for: William Lester Harris

Obit - - July 26, 2012

William L. Harris of Destin peacefully passed, in his home, to his eternal life with our Lord and Savior on July 26, 2012, a cloudy day but with soft sunshine falling upon his sweet face immediately after his passing. During his life on earth, he had many and varied interests, including his family and dear close friends, his community and church affiliations and activities, and several organization memberships. Becoming an Eagle Scout, serving as a Boy Scout leader, 20 years of teaching proper gun usage at the annual Ohio State Fair, participating in various church activities and Bible studies, amateur acting in various productions, enjoying friendships found in various Masonic organizations, bowling and golfing with friends all were especially meaningful to "Tootsie" (his nickname given by his family at birth). He was remarkably loving, kind, compassionate, caring, and he had a special innate ability to understand everyone's perception in all situations. His endearing and entertaining personality with a unique quick thinking sense of humor will be forever missed by his friends and family whom he leaves behind, especially by his wife, Jan, with whom he spent nearly all of his time. Bill had a variety of jobs before and after his obtaining his degree in computer science. As a teenager and before, he worked on a farm, delivered newspapers, worked in a Pepsi bottling plant, and spent 35 years with General Motors and Electronics Data Systems, all in or near Dayton, Ohio, where he was raised, after being born in Bronx, NY. After retiring, he very much enjoyed working at golf courses at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn, Ohio and at Destin's Indian Bayou Golf and Country Club. William is survived by his parents, William and Gemma Harris; wife, Janice; children Scot Harris (Stephanie), Shannon Dick (Scott), Shawn Harris(Carey); step-children Jeff Claar (Cindy), Mike Claar (Beth), David Claar, Brad Smith (Susan), and Jenny McLean(Murray); 11 grandchildren, 12 step-grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren; siblings, Charlotte Green, Bob Harris (Pat), Tom Harris (Jeanie), Patty Haines, and Mike Harris (Mary). He was preceded in death by his grandparents, some aunts and uncles, his parents-in-law, and two former spouses. There will be a memorial/celebration of life service at 2 p.m. Aug. 11 at Grace Lutheran Church, Commons Drive West in Destin. An additional service, a Masonic memorial service, will be held at 3p.m. Aug. 10 with one hour of visitation prior to the service, at Heritage Gardens Funeral Home, N. Partin Drive in Niceville where the body's remains will be buried once returned from the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. Everyone is welcome to attend either or both services. Flowers are accepted, but it is preferred that donations be made in his honor to one of the following organizations: Grace Lutheran Church; Covenant Hospice of Niceville; MMRL (Masonic Medical Research Laboratory); Village Baptist Church or the church of your choice. Heritage Gardens Funeral Home of Niceville is entrusted with the arrangements.