Richard "Rick" Meyer Harris III, 88, passed away in Orlando, FL on Saturday morning, December 22, 2018 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held January 3, 2019 at Carey Hand Colonial Funeral Home at 2811 East Curry Ford Road, Orlando, FL 32806 from 11:00 AM to 12 Noon.
Rick was born on August 25, 1930, in White Plains, New York to father Richard M Harris, Jr and mother Jeannette Annette, and spent his first 17 years living in Mount Vernon, NY. He and his sister, Elizabeth moved to Jacksonville, FL where he graduated from Landon High School in 1948. He soon enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in 1955.
Rick immediately enrolled at the University of Florida on the GI Bill and lettered in baseball before graduating in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Later in life, he returned to school and earned a Master's in Psychology from the University of West Florida in 1975 and a second Master's in Administration and Supervision from Florida A&M University in 1977. He served as a school psychologist in Jefferson County, FL before moving to Orange County, FL where he held the same position until his retirement in 1992.
Golf was an important part of Rick's life. Upon moving into Orlando's Ventura neighborhood in 1981, Rick founded the Ventura Golf Association and served as its first President. He was also very active in the Amateur Golfers of Orlando and served as its President twice. Rick later started the Senior Amateur Golfers Association (SAGA) in 1994. For many years he and his wife Betty organized many golf tournaments and getaways throughout Central Florida. He was also the Senior Correspondent to Golf Central magazine up until his death.
Rick is survived by his bride of 45 years, Betty; his four children Jeannette (Paul) Chesney, Rick (Pam) Harris Jr., Teri (Kenny) Levine and Diane (Adrian) Rust. Ten grandchildren also survive him including Tyler and Alex Chesney, Riley and Ryder Harris, Noah, Logan, Hayden, Holly and Harper Rust and Jonathan Levine. He is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth Harris and his nephews, Wayne and Adam. He has one great-granddaughter, Emma Grace Levine.
In place of flowers, please send donations as a tribute to Rick Harris to Meals on Wheels or The Russell Home for Children.
Rick went through difficult times the last few years but he did it with grace and never lost his sense of humor. Instead of living in seclusion as many would do, he made a point of getting out everyday and soaking up every ounce of life he was offered; that was impressive. Rather than being consumed with his own problems, he chose a path of always helping out others with theirs. That speaks volumes about his true character and the type of man he was. He will remain an inspiration to all he leaves behind and will always be remembered as a great man from a great generation. This patriot will be missed dearly.
Andrew J MaurerApex, NC
David HladkyDeltona, FL
Dear Harris Family I am sorry to hear about your loved one. Nothing prepares us when we lose a loved one. God has a perfect memory and purposes to bring our loved ones back to life in the near future Paradise. Acts 24:15 shows us the hope we can have towards God in regards to a Resurrection.
Maria BrittonOrlando, FL
In loving memory of our dear friend. Kenny and Jeanie Bybee
Jeanie BybeeOrlando, FL