Ronald Thomas Harris
February 12, 1928 ~ August 2, 2012
Ronald Thomas Harris, 84, passed peacefully from this life on August 2, 2012, after enduring the last few years with multiple health complications. He felt blessed to have his family and close friends nearby. Ron was born on February 12, 1928 to his parents Henry Pherril and Zella Bailey Harris at his grandparents home in Moroni, Utah.
Even though he was raised primarily in SLC, he always considered himself a "Sanpete Boy." Ron's father died when he was 11 years old and it was a traumatic effect on their family. Fortunately for Ron, Moroni became his summer home each year for about 6 years. He was taught by his Grandpa Bailey to love the farm and he was a great help on the farm and with chores. He had recounted numerous escapades of fun, pranks, dates, dances, rodeo, etc. This was the perfect environment for young Ron to grow up in. He was close to his grandparent's and to his many extended family there. He particularly loved and honored his widowed mother who raised her four young children entirely on her own.
Ron was the second of four children: Boyd (Helen), Margy (Duncan) Finlayson and Raymond. He graduated from South High School in 1945 and joined the Navy soon after graduation. He served for two years and returned to his home in SLC in 1947 and was offered a job with Intermountain Theatres, Inc. Then as Ron described in his autobiography:"in late 1947, I was moved to the main office. This was the most fortunate move of my life, as I met my wife to be and the love of my life there. Her name was Carol Carter Peterson and our wedding took place on August 6, 1949. She had been married previously and had a one year old son named David. Again it was love at first sight and I adopted David as my legal son on December 28, 1950." Six weeks following their marriage Ron enrolled at Utah State University on the GI Bill, studying Animal Husbandry and Political Science. These college years were some of his best memories. Most of the returning servicemen joined the ROTC Program where they received and additional $90 per quarter to help with expenses. Unfortunately, the Korean War broke out and these ROTC Cadets were commissioned and called up for active service. Ron was in the Air Force ROTC and he entered the US Air Force in 1953, he served for one year. Upon returning home, he decided to make the Air Force his career.
Ron served our country honorably a total of 23 years (21 in the Air Force). He received many commendations for outstanding service, both in the US and overseas. He retired in 1971 with the rank of Lt. Col. Upon retirement, Ron, Carol and David settled in Lehi, Utah to be near Carol's family who had moved there a few years before. He worked several years at a Wholesale Supply Co. and as a custodian for the LDS church.
Ron loved horses, a love he shared with his granddaughter Lindsay. He loved fishing which he shared with his son, David. Genealogical research consumed much of his time and he sought out many family names for temple blessings. He loved reading, especially historical novels, church history, scriptures and was a big fan of Louis L'Amour novels. He had a beautiful yard and garden with fruit trees and he loved to share his "crops" with family and friends each year. Ron also kept us all off guard and "inline" with his outrageous wit and ascerbic comments. We could never top him.
Ron was devoted to his family and they became and eternal family in the Manti Temple on August 12, 1989. When Ron became active he served faithfully in his church callings. He served as Executive Secretary to four bishoprics, Bishop's Counselor, temple ordinance worker in the Mt. Timp. Temple, among other callings.
Ron is survived by his wife Carol, daughter-in-law Evelyn Harris, Saratoga Springs, UT; Grandchildren: Kirsty (Shawn) Ericksen, Saratoga Springs, Lindsay (TJ) Ross, Preston, ID; Trenton (Jennifer) Harris, Orem, 6 wonderful great-grandchildren, Patrick, Connor, Gideon, Kirtlynn, Adalynn and Lily. Also survived by his sister Margy (Duncan) Finlayson, Tucson, AZ, and numerous extended family. Preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Boyd (Helen), and Raymond, son David Lee and Great Grandson Bridger.
Funeral services will be held Monday, August 6, 2012 (Ron & Carol's 63rd Wedding Anniversary) at 11:00 a.m. in the Lehi Fourth Ward Chapel, 900 North 1200 East. Family and friends may call Sunday evening from 6-8:00 p.m. at Wing Mortuary, 118 East Main, Lehi and from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. at the church prior to the service. Interment will follow at the Moroni City Cemetery, at approximately 3:30 p.m. Online guest book at wingmortuary.com.