May 10, 1926 - October 27, 2014
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 11:00 AM First Presbyterian Church
Monday, November 3 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Vernon Funeral Home
Richard O. Harris, 88 of Mechanicsburg, passed away Monday, October 27, 2014 in Mercy McAuley Center.
He was born May 10, 1926 in Springfield, Ohio and was a 1944 graduate of Springfield High School. Richard received his bachelor degree in history from The Ohio State University, where he was a member of the OSU a cappella choir and Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. He served his country in the United States Naval Reserves. He continued his education at Franklin University Law School obtaining his Doctorate of Jurisprudence degree. While in law school, he worked in the City Attorney’s Office in Columbus, Ohio, ultimately serving as Assistant City Attorney. During this time, he married Phyllis Leach, sharing a life together for 55 years. He was an auctioneer and involved in real estate sales for a time in the Urbana area. In 1959, he became Prosecuting Attorney for Champaign County. A highlight in his career was a case that advanced to the Supreme Court. He was a partner with the Houston, Holding and Harris Law Firm, currently the Harris, Meyer, Heckman & Denkewalter Law Firm, practicing law for over 50 years. He periodically filled in as Municipal Court Judge. Richard was a member of the Masons, Shriners, Lions Club and Farm Bureau Council. He served as the District Commissioner of the Boy Scouts, chairman for the Champaign County Republican Party, Board of Directors for Lawnview School, and in recent years on the Board of Directors for the Miami Valley AAA. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church where he served as Deacon and Elder. Richard and Phyllis moved their family to the country in 1970 where he gave up playing golf for fixing fence, fulfilling his desire to raise his family on a farm. In his free time he enjoyed fishing (especially his annual fishing trip to North Carolina), boating, hunting, reading and OSU sports. He was a tremendous sports fan. Richard was a storyteller, always ready with a joke, and loved by his family for his fun-loving antics and impersonations.
He is survived by sons, Jeff (Amy) Harris & Dan (Debbie) Harris both of Urbana, his daughters, Liz (Jim) McCarthy of Madison, WI. & Sarah (Greg) Cox of Somerset, KY, grandchildren, Lee, Holly, Maggie, Sam, Jack, Nate, Noah,Caleb, Cullen and Tristan; brother-in-law, David Leach; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Richard is preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis (Leach) Harris, parents, Orval Lee and Bertha (Evilsizer) Harris, sister and brother-in-law, Anna Lou and John Norris and sister-in-law, Joann Leach.
A gathering of family and friends will be held from 4-7 PM, Monday, November 3, 2014 in the VERNON FUNERAL HOME, Urbana. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, November 4, 2014 in the First Presbyterian Church, Urbana with Pastor Kevin Horrigan officiating. Burial will be held at the convenience of the family. Contributions may be made in Richard’s memory to the First Presbyterian Church, 116 W. Court Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.vernonfh.com.