October 31, 1936 – September 30, 2021
Richard W. Harris was born on October 31, 1936, and passed away at his home in Walker, Louisiana on September 30, 2021, at the age of 84 years, 11 months. Always quick with a joke and a smile, he often quipped that because he was born on Halloween, his mother did not know if he would walk or fly.
After graduating from Walker High School in 1955, Richard worked for the Louisiana Department of Highways and as a Local No. 623 Iron Worker. In 1966, he acceptedemployment with Ethyl Corporation and worked there until Ethyl closed its Baton Rouge plant 19 years later.
After Ethyl, Richard began a tree service and small logging operation and quickly earned a reputation as a stellar tree cutter. As a result, he was routinely called upon to remove high risk trees growing beside homes. He relished the challenge and especially loved making new friends with the homeowners who were grateful no trees would fall on their homes during hurricane season.
Never one to meet a stranger, Richard took an interest in public service. He served on the Charter Commission that drafted Livingston Parish’s current Home Rule Charter, served as Livingston Parish’s first Recycling Planner, and spent nearly three decades as a board member for Livingston Parish Gravity Drainage District No. 5.
Richard loved classic country music and would frequently break into song. He played the guitar and harmonica and loved to tell jokes. There was a time when you could find him nearly every Saturday night at the Old South Jamboree in Walker introducing entertainers and telling jokes to the audience while the next band was setting up. Richard loved his family and loved when they came to visit. When it was time to leave, Richard never failed to call out, “I love you, boy! I love you, girl!”
Richard is survived by his wife of 63 years, Helen Arledge Harris; a son, Roger Harris (Helen) of Lafayette;grandchildren, John Harris of Denham Springs, and Rachel Harris Russin (Nathanael) of Walker; granddog, Hailey of Lafayette; a brother, Raymond Harris (Lynn) of Walker; and many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his daughter, Katherine Harris Lee; parents, Melton L. Harris, Sr. and Antonia James Harris; three brothers, Melton L. Harris, Jr.; Donald “D. D.” Harris; and Leon Harris; and only sister, Reta Harris Clark.
Visitation will be at Seale Funeral Home (1720 S. Range Avenue, Denham Springs, LA 70726) from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 4th. The funeral will be at Walker Baptist Church (10696 Florida Boulevard, Walker, LA 70785) at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 5th. The church will open at 10:00 a.m. for a one-hour visitation before religious services conducted by Rev. Mike Hegwood and Dr. Richard Blue begin. Burial will be at Walker Baptist Church Cemetery on Highway 447 (Walker South Road) following the funeral. Pallbearers will be John Harris, Nathanael Russin, Travis Arledge, Philip Harris, Lee Harris, Barry Harris, and Patrick Bourgeois.