On September 12, 1943, Bill and Francis Harris of St. Louis, Missouri welcomed their first child William Harris. Later, he was joined by five brothers, Edgar, Darrell, Gerald, Russell and Maurice.
William attended public schools in St. Louis, graduating from Sodan High School. Although he wasn't born in Texas, he got here as soon as he could, packing his bags, and arriving in Tyler, Texas in 1971.
In 1979 he met the love of his life, Elaine Campbell, in Gilmer, Texas; they were married that same year on June 30. Another important milestone in his life occurred in 1980 when he united with the Cypress Street Church of Christ in Gilmer, having been encouraged by his wife. For the rest of his life he would express gratitude to Elaine, whom he affectionately called Baby, for introducing him to the church. He remained a faithful member until the time of his death. He was a member of the Loop 281 Church of Christ in Longview, Texas.
Several loved ones including his parents Bill and Francis Harris, preceded him in death. Others were his brother Russell Brown; his uncles William (Bill) Harris and Sam Harris; his sister Patricia and his sister-in-law Sharon Duncan Buchanan .
William was a professional driver. He owned an 18-wheeler, and drove all over the country for some 18 years. He transported the most cherished “cargo” in any community—the children as a Longview Independent School District bus driver, as position he held for over 15 years, and in which he was engaged at the time of his death. He was loved and respected by his fellow bus drivers, and the children he transported to and from school, and to special activities. He also put his driving skills to good use during a short stint in the Longview Regional Hospital’s transportation department.
A dapper gentleman, William enjoyed dressing, and helping others dress well. Toward this end, he sold clothing to both men, and women.
William leaves his family many precious memories to cherish. Those surviving him include his wife of 42 years Elaine Harris; his brothers, Edgar [Beverly] Harris, Darrell [Angela] Harris, Gerald [Toni] Harris, all of St. Louis, Missouri, and Maurice [Mary] Harris of Miami Florida. Also, his daughters, Carmella Johnson, Felecia Russell and Robbie Venters; son, Cedric Campbell; granddaughters, Jessica Johnson, Quateesa Venters, Cornesia Henderson, Maklia Campbell, and Jalessa Campbell; grandsons: James Venters, Jeremey Johnson, James Johnson, and Courtney Russell; great-grandsons, Kingston Henderson, Quay Venters, Cortland Venters, and Kalen Phillips; great-great-grand sons Jakria Johnson and Jalen Sephus; great-granddaughters, Kinzlee Henderson, SariahVenters, Jaymiah Smith, and Mylissa Venters; special nephews: Derez Harris and Dwaun Harris: special friends, Alleyne Register, Carolyn Bradley and Nina Fisher; and brother-in-love Davy Duncan, a host of family and friends.
*Written by family...
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