Dr. Elton Larone Harris
Dr. Elton Larone Harris, 87, passed away on June 14, 2014.
In 1944, at the age of 18, he joined the U.S. Army during the closing months of World War II in which he served as a sergeant. After training at Army bases in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; and Keesler Army Air Field in Biloxi, Mississippi, he was shipped to Germany and arrived shortly after the war’s end.
He was stationed at Furstenfeldbruck Air Base outside Munich, Germany as part of the American Occupation Army. He served as a crew chief on the Douglas DC aircraft and flew into most of the liberated countries of Europe. He returned home and was honorably discharged form the United States Army in 1949. He was a longtime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Following his army service, Dr. Harris attended the University of Tennessee where he obtained a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1956, and was a member of the Memphis Dental Legion for 52 years. He opened his own practice that same year, and served as the only dentist in Olive Branch for 30 years. He found joy and fulfillment from his work and served the community through dentistry for 54 years before retiring in 2010.
Dr. Harris also served his community as an active member of the Lion’s Club for over 40 years and served as its president. AS a lifelong member of Maples Memorial United Methodist Church, Dr. Harris served on various medical mission trips to Nicaragua, providing dental services to native Nicaraguans. He served as a founding member for the Olive Branch Chamber of Commerce and the Olive Branch Country Club. He was also the first person to begin recording Olive Branch High School football games. He spent many summers teaching friends and the youth of Olive Branch how to water ski. He also enjoyed many rounds of golf with friends as well as hunting and cattle farming at his ranch in Marshall County.
The dedication and years of service Dr. Elton Harris contributed to his country and community led him to great accomplishments including being honored as the Grand Marshall of the 2007 Olive Branch Christmas Parade, inducted into the Olive Branch Hall of Fame in 2013, and awarded Fellowship in Dentistry by the University of Colorado.
Dr. Harris is survived by his three daughters and sons-in-law; Dauphine and Phil Magee, Bea Ann and Johnny Pearce, and Teree and Mike Sowell. Dr. Harris also leaves behind his 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild who knew him as “Paw Doc.”
Dr. Harris is welcomed to Heaven by his loving wife of 56 years, Mary Ann Harris, and beloved son, Elton Larone Harris Jr.
A gathering of friends was held on Monday, June 16, 2014, at Brantley Funeral Home. Funeral Services were held Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at Maples Memorial United Methodist Church and he was buried at Blocker Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Maples Memorial United Methodist Church Youth Fund.
To offer condolences please visit us at www.BrantleyFuneral.com.