GOLDSTON, N.C. -- Edward Milton Harris Jr., 85, died June 17, 2005.
He was preceded in death by his wife of over 50 years, Evelyn Klein Harris, who was from Sikeston, Mo.
Born July 28, 1919, in Goldston, he graduated from Campbell College in 1938. He then attended North Carolina State College in Raleigh, taking aeronautical engineering and King's Business College, taking accounting. In June 1942, he went to Sikeston, where for two years he instructed Army Air Corps cadets to fly. From Sikeston he went in the U.S. Army Air Corps and ferried two- and four-engine planes across the United States. He then went through Officers Candidate School (OCS) at Randolph Field, Texas, where he also receive his instrument rating.
In August 1944 he was sent to China-India-Burma Theatre of World War II. There he flew 103 combat missions over the "Hump," or Himalayan Mountains, and received two distinguished flying crosses (DFCs), three air medals, five battle stars and a Presidential Citation.
He returned home in late 1945 and married Evelyn Klein Harris, his wife and life's partner for over 50 years whom he had met in Sikeston. He went into the family lumber business, Harris Lumber Company in Goldston.
Active in the Goldston United Methodist Church, where he served in numerous positions and taught Sunday school for many years, he also served the town of Goldston in various capacities. He was on the committee to get city water and garbage collection in Goldston. For 26 years, he served as mayor of Goldston from 1969 to 1995. During his tenure, the town bought part of the land of the Goldston School and built a recreation park and expanded the town hall and library.
He worked with the Boy Scouts program at the district and council levels for over 20 years, serving as district commissioner and district chairman. He also received the Silver Beaver, which is the highest award an adult can receive in scouting.
A charter member of the Goldston Lions Club, he was recognized as a Jack Stickley Fellow by the North Carolina Lions Foundation.
Over the years Mr. Harris also served on the Board of Directors of BB&T's Goldston Board of Directors and Capital Bank Loan Board of Directors in Siler City. He chaired the organizational committee for the Goldston Medical Center and was the board chairman for many years. He served on the Goldston Fire Department Board since the department was organized in the early 1950s.
Survivors include: his wife, Frances M. Harris of the home; two sons and one daughter-in-law, Edward M. and Pam Mizelle Harris III of Raleigh and Gene K. and Linda Harris of Goldston; one daughter and son-in-law, Camille H. and Tim Cunnup of Goldston; and seven grandchildren; Frances' children, Gail Johnson of Durham and Bill and Lydia Murchison of Goldston; and Frances' five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
His life was celebrated at 4 p.m. Monday at the Goldston United Methodist Church, where family and friends shared memories and stories. Military honors were provided by the Randolph County Honor Guard during graveside services. The Rev. Judy Drye officiated.
Smith and Buckner Funeral Home in Siler City was in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to
Goldston UMC-Building Fund
P.O. Box 85
Goldston, N.C. 27252