Robert “Bob” Harris, age 85, the beloved owner of Bob’s Shoes and a resident of Mount Pleasant, passed away on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at his home. Funeral services were conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 3, 2017 at Williams Funeral Home in Mount Pleasant with Kyle Harris and Edd Brown officiating. Burial followed at Bob’s home in the Harris family cemetery, Peaceful Woods Cemetery.
He was the son of the late Arthur Lee and Lillie Kathrine Mayberry Harris. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sylvia Ann Talley Harris; children Kerry (Leisa McCaleb) Harris and Cindy Harris; grandsons, Adam (Galina) Harris, Tony (Bri) Nascimento, Kyle Harris and Nathan Harris; and great grandson, Kolby Nascimento.
He was preceded in death by a son, Kirby Harris and 13 brothers and sisters. He was a member of the Beech Hill church of Christ.
“Mr. Bob” as many called him never seemed to meet a stranger. As we all knew he would, Bob worked until he absolutely couldn’t. In the past year as he recognized his declining health, he would occasionally say firmly and happily, “I am a worker and I wanted to work.” A strong industrious work ethic combined with always being fair and honest were just the beginning of what made Bob who he was.
He grew up in Centerville, in a humble hardworking family where he was the youngest of 14 children. At age eight, he began working on the town square shining shoes for a dime. He would bring that money home and give a nickel of each dime to his mother or his sister who had polio.
Through his youth he took on many different jobs. At age 15, he walked into “T” Doc Baker’s Shoe Shop to get some boots repaired and instead he was hired to work starting right then. This began a lifelong career as a shoe cobbler, selling and repairing shoes and boots. His tireless work ethic and personality made him a success.
He was called away to serve in the army during the Korean War. He also worked on pipeline and commercial building construction. It wasn’t long until he purchased a little shoe repair shop on Bluegrass Avenue in Mount Pleasant. Bob firmly believed in the idea that you always serve everyone equally. For 56 years, he worked his magic in his shop making many lifelong friends along the way. His children, Kerry and Cindy “grew up” working in the store alongside their father learning the value of hard work and service.
Bob also loved being outdoors and doing physical work, keeping a few cows, and especially cutting wood on his farm. For many years he loved fishing on the Tennessee River and fishing Swan and Cane Creek.
But more than all of this, Bob loved his family. Sixty years ago he married his sweetheart, Sylvia Talley and had three children. He was active in the church serving in many capacities including being a deacon, song leader and being a Christian example until the day he passed. He was a loving family man who was so proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bob was remarkable in overcoming many obstacles in his life and was such an inspiring example because of it, believing there’s always someone who has a worse situation. He loved to have fun and laugh, even in his last days. He was a generous, kind-hearted man who quietly helped many others. A jolly, genuine, honest, respected and greatly loved man who will be missed by his community, his many friends and most of all by his family who loved him so dearly.
Williams Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. Condolences can be given to the family online at www.williamsfh.com.