William (Bill) Harris

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Bill went to heaven peacefully, ready for the “pearly gates” to welcome him home after a short fight with cancer.  He passed away at the age of 78 at home in Emporia, Kansas.
Bill was born and raised in Southern California.  Bill graduated Hawthorne High, El Camino Junior College, and Long Beach State University where he received his teaching credential and a master’s degree.  He worked for Safeway Stores for twenty-five years and the County of Orange in California as a Licensed Environmental Health Specialist inspecting food manufacturers for 13 years.
Bill and Barbara were married in 1962, had a full life together and just celebrated 58 years of marriage.  They were in elementary school and middle school together and went to high school prom together.  Bill’s greatest love was his family.  He loved going to the grandkids’ activities, their sporting events, and their school programs.  He loved family vacations each year and enjoyed teasing with his grandkids.
Upon retirement, Bill and Barbara left California and moved to Nebraska to be “active” grandparents.  Bill loved the farming community, friendly folks, and changing seasons of the year.  He never met a stranger and loved getting to know people.  He had such fond memories of the 14 years living in Geneva and Aurora.  Bill often said, “Moving to Nebraska was the best decision ever.”
Bill was the recipient of the Scouting Silver Beaver Award, a Scout Master for many years, a trainer for Wood Badge, and a Scout Master for two National Scouting Jamborees.  He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Aurora, a member of the Geneva Masonic Lodge #79 in Nebraska and a 32 Degree Scottish Rite Mason.
Bill and Barbara loved Square Dancing and Round Dancing.  They were trained dance instructors and over a period of 10 years taught many, many couples to have a fun time dancing rumba, waltz, cha-cha, swing, and tango.
Bill is survived by his wife Barbara, son Ron (Karla), daughter Anne Wrye, sister Barbara (Larry) Schaff, brother-in-law Denton (Sue) Graham, and granddaughters Elisha, Alexandria, and Micah.
In heaven, Bill has joined his father William Howard, stepmother Ruth, and son-in-law Ted Wrye.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service celebrating his life will be held later.

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