Ron Harris of Mc Kinney, Texas | 1946 – 2022 | Obituary
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Ron Harris passed away at the age of 76 on November 23, 2022. He was a kind, generous, ever so friendly, man of God, great dad, great husband of 49 years, and a super friend to all. He was born in Longview, Texas to Raymond and Doris Harris.
His father worked for Mobil Pipeline, and they lived in various cities in Oklahoma and Texas. Ron graduated from William Adams High School in Alice, Texas where he enjoyed debate class and the Baptist Youth Group. At 17 following his graduation, he loaded up his car and moved into an apartment in Midland, Texas to work for Mobil Pipeline during the summer in the oil fields. He turned 18 in August and moved to Waco, Texas to attend Baylor University before moving back to West Texas to attend Texas Tech University. Ron graduated with a bachelor’s degree of Business Administration in Management and Accounting.
After college, he graduated from the National Guard Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and served in Airborne Infantry, Mechanized Infantry and Communications units. He was honorably discharged from the Texas Army National Guard with a rank of staff sergeant in 1975.
Not wanting to leave Lubbock after graduation, he took a position with the Tech Residence Halls and met Lynn who was a “dorm mother” for one of the freshman dorms. In May of 1973 they were married and moved to Dallas for “fame and fortune”. Here he took an accounting position with Safeco Insurance Company. Ron and Lynn were blessed with their only son, Chris (also a Texas Tech alumni) in 1977 and moved to Plano, Texas which would become their home for 23 years.
Ron worked for Sanger Harris in sales and operations from 1973 until he fell in love with politics. Ron served on his homeowner’s association board and two terms of office
on the Plano City Council from 1985 – 1990. He enjoyed collaborating with homeowners to achieve the proud community spirit of Plano in the early days. During this time, he was able to share with his son not only the numerous soccer, baseball and Plano Sr. High football games but also the title of Bald Eagle and Little Eagle as Chief of Indian Guides Nation for the YMCA. Ron was also excited about his starring role as “Killer Harris” jousting with Tom “Perot” Posey in Live from Plano.
In 1991, Ron had the honor of being elected County Judge of Collin County and he served four terms of office until 2006 and Ron and Lynn then moved to McKinney in 1999.
During his time in office as County Judge, Ron served on many North Central Texas Council of Governments’ committees, including the NCTCOG’s Regional Transportation Council.
He was well known for his years of work to improve air quality and transportation infrastructure in Collin County and North Texas. The George Bush Tollway and the Dallas North Tollway extension came to be as he worked with neighboring county judges to help establish the North Texas Tollway Authority. He received the 1997 Road Hand Award from the Texas Department of Transportation, the 2001 Team Award from the North Texas Commission, and the prestigious William J. Pitstick Regional Excellence Award from the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Excellence Awards honored Ron in 2007 for his work on the North Texas Clean Air Steering Committee (NTCAS) and is founder of the Texas Clean Air Working Group (TCAWG). As chairman of TCAWG, Judge Harris led the way to secure funding for the Texas Emission Reduction Program, which became a model across the country for local leaders to work with state and federal environmental agencies.
He also held leadership positions with the Texas Emergency Communications Commission, the Texas Municipal League Health Trust, the Plano YMCA, the HCA Medical Center of Plano, and the Plano West Rotary.
He felt so blessed with the opportunities this position gave him. Ron had the honor of working alongside multiple city council members, mayors, county officials and former Representative Ralph Hall, former Governor Ann Richards, former Governor Rick Perry, former Senator Florence Shapiro, Former Senator Kaye Bailey Hutchinson just to name a few. Most of all he was honored to have known President George W. Bush He was so thrilled to call his mother from the Oval Office to tell her where he was. He’d said, “Not bad for a kid from Alice, Texas.”
Finally, Ron was blessed with a very loving immediate family. In addition to his wife, Lynn and his son, Chris, Ron has “his most favorite daughter-in-law” Beth and a very patriotic grandson, Cooper and a beautiful granddaughter, Parker. Ron’s sister Carole Davenport lives in Corsicana, Texas with her husband H M Davenport, who is Navarro County Judge. Also, his sister-in-law Charleen Watson and her husband Arthur Watson who live in Sugarland, Texas. In addition to these special family members, he has many nieces and nephews and their children, whom he was very proud of. He was preceded in death by his parents.
There will be a memorial service to celebrate Ron’s life at 2:00 p.m. Friday, December 9, 2022, at Christ United Methodist Church, 3101 Coit Road, Plano Texas with Chris Dowd officiating. Ron will be honored for his service to our country with military honors by the United States Army and the color guard by the Collin County Sheriff’s Department.
He will be laid to rest at the Christ United Methodist Church Columbarium.
If desired, contributions may be made in Ron’s name to a charity of your choosing.
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