Cover photo for Robert Harris's Obituary
1924 Robert 2016

Robert Harris

September 17, 1924 — July 8, 2016

Mr. Robert Harris passed away in his Roswell home on July 8, 2016 at the age of 91. Mr. Harris was born to Lee and Josie Nutall-Harris on September 17, 1924 in Mumford TX. Both of his parents have preceded him in death.

As a young man Robert lost his mother at the tender age of one. His older sister, who was two at the time, moved in with their grandparents who watched and cared for them while their father worked in Atlanta GA. By age nine his father passed and he and his sister soon found themselves separated and living with different relatives. Being separated from his sister was a pain that Robert could not bear. He wanted his sister to have stability and security in her life but being young this made it difficult for him to provide. So he did what so many others do when faced with the same situation. He joined the army.

Robert was one of the few remaining veterans who fought and survived the pacific theater during World War 2. Like many others before him when the war reached the USA he felt a profound duty to defend his country from the tyranny that was already besieging Europe. When Robert initially enlisted into the army he was not quite old enough to fight; however, he wasn't so easily detoured. With the change of a date he made sure he could fight. Robert received combat training in Seattle WA before being sent to San Francisco CA to await deployment. During war time Mr. Harris worked as a quarter master transporting troops and supplies to where they needed to be. He spent time in Oro Bay Papua New Guinea, Okinawa and the Philippines. Robert was wounded in the right thigh during combat and suffered from a condition he called, "jungle rot", during his service. Despite everything he was extremely proud of his military service and being able to fight for the country he loved so dearly.

Several years after the war Robert found himself on a military transport train headed to California. The train passed through New Mexico bumping along its iron route, with little more to do but look out the window and contemplate the New Mexico heat, Robert unwittingly had a life changing moment. As the train passed through San Fidel (located between Laguna and Grants) he momentarily locked eyes with a young beautiful girl standing a few feet from the train tracks. The two looked at each, both curious and intrigued, but the train continued to chug along its predetermined course unaware of the moment that had just transpired. The two were resigned to that brief moment in time, knowing that it would never be anything more than that, but as fate would have it this young girl ended up in California. Pilar and Robert were married in 1956 in Las Vegas NV. The probability of the two finding each other, two strangers in a different state, not knowing each other's names, seemed impossible; but they did and spent the next 53 years together, raising children and building their family before her passing in 2009.

In 1971 the Harris family moved to Roswell NM where they set their permanent roots. Robert had managed a car wash back in California and worked many jobs simultaneously to help support his young family. He was a true jack of all trades who could fix anything that was broke. If the plumbing leaked he plugged it, if the house was cold he chopped wood, and when the car broke down he got it running. His car was his hobby and passion and he loved maintaining and cleaning it. Being the man on the house he made sure each of the children could do the same. He wanted them to be both self-sufficient and self-sustaining not having to depend on anyone for anything. He loved his kids dearly and they were his world but when tough love was needed he dealt it out. He truly wanted nothing but great things for them and easier times then what he had growing up. Robert was the definition and embodiment of excellence in work ethic.

Robert loved to go shooting and taught his kids how to handle a gun and fire it accurately. Mr. Harris had dogs and would talk about his old favorites like Fort Worth (a German Sheppard) and Blackeye. He was a busy man but also productive.
Robert is survived by his children Josie Harris of Albuquerque NM, Raymond Harris and Stella of Capitan NM, Tracy Harris and Jude of Roswell NM, Pilar Jannie Harris of Roswell NM, Arthur Lee Harris of Beaumont TX; sister Janie Eva Harris-Jordan "Pie" of Houston TX; 25 grandchildren, 43 great grandchildren; and 5 great-great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife Pilar B. Harris; son Robert Harris Jr., son Albert Harris; his parents Lee and Josie Harris; and 3 grandchildren.

The family would like to thank everyone who has helped them so generously with their time and love with a special thanks to Gentiva Hospice and their nurses Katrina and Alma; to daughter Pilar Harris and granddaughter Alexis for their long term care and of course the entire family who helped support dad. A memorial account has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank where contributions can be made for the Robert D. Harris military fund.

Visitation will be held at Ballard Funeral Home on Saturday, July 16, 2016 from 9am to 5pm and continuing again on Monday, July 18, 2016 from 9am to 6pm. Eulogy's will be given at 6pm followed by a rosary at 7:30pm on Monday, July 18, 2016 at Ballard Funeral Home Chapel with mass being held at Assumption Catholic Church on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 9am with burial to follow at South Park Cemetery.


Ballard Funeral Home
910 S. Main St.
Roswell, NM  88203
Saturday, July 16, 2016
9 am to 5pm

Ballard Funeral Home
910 S. Main St.
Roswell, NM  88203
Monday, July 18, 2016
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.



Ballard Funeral Chapel
910 S. Main St.
Roswell, NM  88203
Monday, July 18, 2016
7:30 pm

Funeral Mass

Assumption Catholic Church
2808 N. Kentucky
Roswell, NM  88201
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
9:00 a.m.


South Park Cemetery
3101 S. Main St.
Roswell, NM  88203
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Harris, please visit our flower store.


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