In God's Care
SHELBY — Waits Leon Harris, 96, of Shelby, passed away Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, at the Laurels of Green Tree Ridge, in Asheville.
Mr. Harris was born Nov. 19, 1915, in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, to the late Joseph William Harris and the late Annie Dempsey Harris. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, honorably serving in the Infantry and was deployed in France and England. Mr. Harris was employed at Bost Bakery in Shelby, for 40 dedicated years and during his employment he had worked as a baker, a route delivery salesman and was also a divisional sales manager for North Carolina and South Carolina. He was a faithful member of Shelby First Baptist Church, where he had served as the pianist for the Crusader Sunday school class for many years. Mr. Harris was a member of the Shelby Lions Club and he also held a North Carolina real estate broker license, which allowed him to pursue a career in many real estate ventures. He was a talented musician, playing the mandolin and the piano. The memories of time shared with his brothers and sisters singing and playing gospel music will be cherished forever. He loved spending time outdoors in his garden, planting, tending, harvesting, and even preserving the vegetables from his garden, fruit bushes and nut bearing trees. His flower garden was filled with a variety of roses, peonies and camellia bushes that were admired by everyone. A man of many talents, he was also a gifted mechanic and craftsman and could often be found repairing motors on garden tractors as well as building quilting and picture frames. He loved his family deeply and held great pride in his heart for each of them. When we remember a generation of men who came before us and made us who we are, Waits Leon Harris was indeed that type of man and his life is an example for each of us to follow.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Blanche Blackwell Harris, who was a resident of Shelby, and passed away in 1991; his son-in-law, Rudy C. Reeves, who was a resident of Canton; sisters, Eva Newman Bellew, Oleen Morgan (Fate), Ruth Kyzer (Haston) and Mary Johnson (Tommy); brothers, Manley Harris (Roey), Roland Harris, Garland Harris (Helen) and Sifford Harris (Annabel), all who were from the Spartanburg County area of South Carolina.
Surviving are his daughter, Elaine Reeves, of Canton; grandchildren, Lisa Morris (Jim), of Canton, Spencer Reeves (Jennifer), of Canton, and Hope Burch (John Jason), of Hayesville; great-grandchildren, Leah, Luke and Daniel Worley, Levi Morris, and Dawson and Dallas Reeves, all of Canton, and Jackson, Caroline, and Savannah Burch, of Hayesville; a sister, Helen Lavender, of Campobello, South Carolina, and several nieces and nephews.
A graveside funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Cleveland Memorial Park,in Shelby. The Rev. Tony Tench will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in memory of Mr. Harris to Shelby First Baptist Church, Music Ministry, 120 N. Lafayette St., Shelby, NC 28150.
Crawford / Ray Funeral Home is honored to be caring for the Harris family and words of comfort may be shared at www.crawfordray.com.