He was born July 31, 1943, in Lake Village, Ark., to the late Captain Dewey and Lucille White Harris. His career in higher education spanned over 30 years at Henderson State University, Stephen F. Austin University, the University of Arkansas, and Radford University where he retired. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello; his master’s degree from Henderson State University; his Ed.D. from Texas A&M at Commerce, and Post Doctoral studies at Harvard University.
He was a member of Rotary for over 30 years and a Deacon in the First Baptist Church of Radford. In his retirement, he enjoyed making stained glass, spending time on Claytor Lake and spending time with his grandkids. He claimed to be famous for a basketball move known as the Harris hook but this is unconfirmed as of this writing. He also enjoyed fishing and watching sports, particularly the Arkansas Razorbacks, which some believe may have taken as much as 10 years off his life.
He will be missed by his wife of 54 years, Hilda; sister-in-law Cindy Brown and her husband Ronnie; two sons, Marty Ensminger of Little Rock, Ark. and Russ Harris of Sylva, N.C.; two daughters-in-law, Laquita Ensminger of Little Rock, Ark. and Marne Harris of Sylva, N.C.; three grandchildren, Lindsey Spradlin of Benton, Ark., and Ella and Rayna Harris of Sylva, N.C.; and one great grandson, Beau Spradlin of Benton, Ark.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Dewey Jr., John, Charles, and Dave.
The family would like to thank the professional and caring staff of Givens Estates for going the extra mile in caring for him both physically and emotionally during his time there.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Paul Harris Leadership Scholarship at https://inspire.radford.edu/harris.
Checks made payable to Radford University Foundation, Inc. and mailed to PO Box 6893, Radford, VA 24142, can be designated for the Dr. Paul Harris Leadership Scholarship by note or in the memo line.
An online registry can be found at Legacy.com.
“By God Woodrow, it’s been quite a party, ain’t it.” Augustus McCrae, Lonesome Dove.