William Robert Harris

May 3, 1939-Nov. 18, 2023


William Robert Harris, better known as Bill, 84, of Crossville, passed away Nov. 18, 2023, at Life Care Center of Crossville.

William Robert Harris was born May 3, 1939, in the Hickory Valley community of White County, the only child of Robert Samuel and Nannie Velna Haston Harris.

His education started at Hickory Valley Elementary School, then  White County High School where he was active with several organizations and a member of the football team. He then attended Tennessee Tech and Hiwassee College where he was a member of the baseball and basketball teams. Bill obtained his bachelor’s from Southern Illinois University and ultimately his master’s from Central Michigan.

Bill joined the United States Air Force, on Oct. 10, 1960, and discharged after four years of service. Following his service, he worked in the public sector and thought the Air Force was not that bad, so he rejoined in February 1966 for 23 more years and retired as a Master Sergeant Major. His Air Force career took him to almost 50 countries and a ride on the Orient Express. His love of traveling carried over to visiting all 50 United States.

In his retirement, he served as an Executive Director of Upper Cumberland Teen Ranch, enjoyed hiking, and playing softball where he competed in the Senior National Games, in Houston, Texas. He was an avid sports fan, including UT, Nashville Predators, Memphis Grizzlies, Baltimore Orioles since 1954, and a Titans season ticket holder for their first 20 years in Nashville.  His love for traveling and sports was in addition to his love of history and classic rock music.

Survivors include his son, Chris Harris and wife Stephanie, of Camden, South Carolina; granddaughters, Brittany and Kacee; and several great-grandchildren and cousins.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m., Nov. 25, 2023, at Hunter Funeral Home. Burial, with full military honors by the Veterans’ Honor Guard, will follow in Frasier’s Chapel Cemetery. The family will receive friends after 10 a.m., Nov. 25, at the funeral home.

Hunter Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.