Ronald “Keith” Harris - May 05, 2013
Ronald (Keith) Harris, 80, longtime businessman of Imperial, Neb., passed away Sunday, May 5, 2013, at the Community Hospital in McCook, Neb.
Keith was born in his grandparents’ house in the Blanche community to James Albert (Bert) and Ruby (Kidd) Harris on July 21, 1932. He was the oldest of eight children born to this union.
Keith was raised on his dad’s farm, where he spent his days helping work the land. In his teen years he helped neighbors on their farms.
In 1952, he met Beulah Ann Harrison, and on Nov. 16, 1953, Keith and Beulah were married in Scottsbluff, Neb.
Kent spent the next few years working for Legg Construction, learning the construction business and running a crew.
While residing in Grant, Neb., in 1957, their first son Terry Lee Harris, was bestowed upon them.
In the early 60s Keith moved his family to Imperial, and became a member of the United Methodist Church.
In 1962, he started his long time residence at 329 East 9th Street and at this time he also started Harris Construction Co. that he owned and operated for over 40 years.
On Dec. 6, 1963, Keith and Beulah were blessed with their second son, Kevin Dean Harris.
During this time he decided to learn how to fly planes. Upon completion of his flying license he joined with several others in the purchase of a Pipe Cub Air Craft. One of the owners, Rev. Keith Griffith, and Keith decided to take a trip. After fueling their aircraft the two Keiths boarded. As they were taxiing down the runway they realized with their weight and fuel weight they weren’t going to be able to get airborne. With their runway running out they were able to get just enough lift to clear a barbed wire fence at the end of the runway and land back into the field on the other side. But this little episode never deterred Keith. He had a love of flying and flew every time he had a chance.
Keith also enjoyed raising honey bees, even though he was allergic to bees. He enjoyed harvesting the honey combs and very much liked sharing the honey with friends and family. While managing his bees in his company yard on the west end of Main Street, a honey bee snuck into his protective clothing. Keith’s fear of being stung led him to immediately strip off his protective clothing and almost all his other clothes. With only his underwear on Keith ran for safety to his office a 100 yards away.
He had a love of hunting, fishing and camping with family and friends. He loved gardening and plants. One of his favorite past times in the fall was hunting rattlesnakes even though he was scared to death of them.
?He had a great love for children and often dressed as Santa Claus at Christmas time.
?He served as Chase County Commissioner of District 1 for two years. Keith was serious about his work. In his retirement years he would clear old homesteads with his bulldozer.
With his health failing in 2008, he and Beulah moved to McCook, Neb., so Keith could start kidney dialysis. There he resided at the Hillcrest Nursing Home.
Keith was loved by his family. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for them. He was always quick to lend a hand. Our lives are richer and fulfilled because of his love, guidance and impact on our lives.
Preceding him in death were his parents; his son, Kevin Dean Harris; granddaughter, Terra Lea Harris; brothers, Ivan (Fuzz) Harris, Jim Harris; and sister, Helen Harris.
Survivors are his wife, Beulah; son, Terry and his wife, Dora, of Wauneta; sister, Loretta (Susie) Anderson of Kearney; sister, Freda and husband, Wayne Nutt, of Dickens; brother, Larry and wife, Audrey, of Ogallala; sister, Sharon and husband, Tom Nutt, of Holdrege; two grandsons, Dustin Harris of North Platte and Derek and wife, Heather, of Culbertson; granddaughter, Tiffany Harris of Wauneta; five great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Keith Harris will be held Thursday morning, May 9, 2013, at 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church of Imperial with Pastor Lance Clay officiating.
Interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery, Imperial.
Visitation was held Wednesday afternoon, May 8, 2013, from 2-6 p.m. at the funeral home in Imperial.
A memorial has been established in Keith’s memory or donor’s choice.
Online condolences can be left at liewerfuneralhome.com
Liewer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.