John Wayne (Big John) Harris, good and faithful servant of the Lord, was called home Sunday, February 2, 2020. John, of Abilene, was 85.
The family will receive friends at a visitation from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Thursday, February 6, 2020, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Friday, February 7, 2020, at Broadview Baptist Church in Abilene. Burial will follow in Elmwood Memorial Park.
Big John was born on a farm near Goree, TX, on November 22, 1934. He graduated from Goree High School in 1952, and shortly thereafter moved to Abilene. His first job in Abilene was for a small grocery store chain, B&B Grocers, where he was an accountant. In the late 1950's, John went to work for Western Plumbing Wholesalers, where he became a partner with his brother-in-law, Bob Hitt. The two had a wonderful working relationship, eventually selling out in the late 1970's. Three years later, John opened The Supply House of Abilene, another plumbing supply business, which he owned and operated with his sons. In 1997 John began a new career selling Farm & Ranch property, opening Tejas Ranch Properties in Abilene. His daughter joined him in 1999, and they worked together for about 15 years before John retired.
In 1954, while she was doing church visitations, John met the love of his life, Barbara Hitt. The two were married on August 11,1955 in Abilene. Theirs was a love beyond measure, and they celebrated their 64th anniversary in 2019.
John was very active in Civic Clubs, helping coach his son's baseball teams, and especially church. He was an Optimist Club member and looked forward to working at their Christmas tree lot every year. Later, John was a member of the Rotary Club in Abilene. He served as a Deacon at both Elmcrest Baptist Church and Broadview Baptist Church. John also served on the Board of the Abilene Police Academy and, for many decades, International Evangelism Association. His passions included his family, watching football and baseball, gospel music, eating his "favorite vegetables," steak and BBQ, vacationing at Fun Valley in Colorado, and most especially his faith. John was devout in his study of the Bible and wrote commentaries on several books of the Bible.
Preceding John in death were his parents, John William Harris, his mother, Maurine Lucille (Jones) Harris, a sister, Sue Asher, a brother, Burl Harris, and a grandson, Chris Harris.
Left to cherish many wonderful memories of Big John are his wife, Barbara Harris, his three children and their spouses, Gary & Laura Harris of Granbury, TX., Scott & Michele Harris of Fort Worth, TX, and Cathy & Scott McCleary of Abilene. He is also survived by his loving grandchildren, John Wm. (Cayla) Harris, Michael Harris, Caitlin (Brian) Bedwell, Missy Moon, Anna-Kate (Travis) Mathis, Kelli (Zac) Esposito, Jordan (Chris) Graves, Molly (Cody) Solomon, and Ryan Harris. John also leaves 23 great-grandchildren, two sisters, Evelyn (Austin) Keefer and Ruby Nell (Hank) Sheppard, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, friends, and his sweet four-legged companion, Betsy.
Memorials may be made to Broadview Baptist Church, 2500 S. 27th Street, Abilene,TX 79605, or the charity of your choice.
Memories may be made and condolences submitted online at www.HamilFamilyFuneralHome.com.