Rossville---William "Bill" Leon Harris, 82, passed away at his rural Rossville home on March 16, 2021.
Bill was born on February 2, 1939, in Girard, Kansas, to Bud Leon and Florence Ellen (Westhoff) Harris and lived most of his childhood in Hepler, Kansas, except for a few years when his family moved to Weiser, Idaho. He returned to Hepler from Weiser in 1951 to help his grandparents on the family farm. He graduated from Hepler High School and Pittsburg State University. Bill served in the US Army after graduating college in 1961.
On December 30, 1961, Bill married Patricia Ann Hazen in Walnut, Kansas. To this union the couple was blessed with five children.
During his lifetime, Bill was a valued employee for several companies, including Phillips Petroleum, Kansas City, MO; McNally Manufacturing, Pittsburg, KS; Sinclair Oil Co., Independence, KS; The Capper Foundation, Topeka; owner of Mercury Messengers, Topeka, and for over 60 years was the owner of Harris Accounting & Tax Service, previously in Carbondale, KS and most recently in Rossville, KS.
Bill was very civic-minded. He served: on the Carbondale Housing Authority; as a board member of the Topeka Daycare Association; on the Carbondale Athletic Association; as an elected Carbondale city council member; and was a Hunter Safety instructor. Bill was a member of the Carbondale Chapter of Lions Club International and had been honored with a lifetime membership and awarded with the Melvin Jones Fellow for dedicated Humanitarian Services.
Always active, Bill, enjoyed playing slow-pitch softball into his 40's, camping, fishing, and was an avid hunter making numerous trips to Wisconsin over the years to deer hunt with his brother, Don. His greatest enjoyment was spending time with his family, gardening, and was always quick to teach something new to anyone who would listen. Luckily, his only son Ron is following in his footsteps with his willingness to share his knowledge, but he does have large shoes to fill.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; niece Danielle Harris; sister Elaine O'Brien; brother-in-law Charlie Bird; and brother Donald Harris. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, of the home. Other survivors include his children: Robin Harris, Topeka; Stacy (Sheri) Harris, Waterloo, IA; Terri (Dan) Hostetler, Salina; Ronald (Kari) Harris, Topeka; and Debra (Russ) Miller, Rossville. Also surviving are siblings: Sandra Bird, Gladstone, MO; Larry (Lois) Harris, Duncan, OK; Jean Nichols (special friend Ron Gates), Girard; sister-in-law Penny Harris, Neillsville, WI; and brother-in-law Bernard (Beverly) O'Brien, Hepler; 15 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at noon on Friday, March 26, 2021, at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, Rossville. Inurnment will follow in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Topeka. The family will receive friends on Thursday, March 25 at Piper Funeral Home in St. Mary's, Kansas, from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to Lions Club International - Carbondale Chapter, Midland Hospice, or Joseph A. Cates Pulmonary Fibrosis Research--University of Kansas Medical Center and sent in care of Piper Funeral Home, 714 Maple St, St. Mary's, KS 66536.