Van Gentry Harris Sr. 1925-2019

Van Gentry Harris Sr.


Van Gentry Harris Sr., 93, of New Franklin passed away Tuesday June 4, 2019 at the Truman VA Hospital in Columbia, Missouri.

Van Gentry Harris Sr. was born September 19, 1925 in Lamine Missouri, the son of Elwood Harris and Hallie Mable Willis. Van had a son by the late Panzy Franklin. He joined the Army in 1946 where he ended up in France and Germany during the occupation after the war. After his service to our country he returned home and worked various jobs from Goodyear Tire & Rubber in Topeka, Kansas to working at General Motors in Kansas City at the BOP (Buick, Old’s, Pontiac) plant. He and his second wife Ruth opened a dry cleaning and alterations shop in Kansas City until their retirement in 1980. Van became very active in veteran organizations. He was a member of many groups around his community including the American Legion, 40 & 8, Odd Fellas, and the VFW. He served as commander of Boonville Post #4072 VFW for several years. He enjoyed watching cars go by while sitting on his front porch, most all the time he would have a cigar in hand. When he wasn’t on his front porch, he was in his basement working on little wooden knickknacks to give away, or other projects to make out of cedar, or walnut. He also enjoyed going out to Harley Park and watching the baseball games. He loved to have coffee with all his buddies and talk about the “Good Old Times”. Van also frequented 87 Diner on Wednesday because Wednesday was fried chicken day and he loved his fried chicken. In later years, he loved to go to the farm and drive the tractor or pick up walnuts. Van made his mark, gone but not forgotten.

Van is preceded in death by his parents Elwood Harris and Hallie Mable Willis, Van Jr.’s mother Panzy Franklin, wife Ruth Harris, and sisters Anna Margaret Sprouse and Eleanor Ward. He is survived by his Son Van (Molee) Harris Jr. of Killen, Texas, grandchildren Michelle (Lamont) Williams, Jason (Crystal) Harris, great-grandchildren Jazmyn and Traelen Williams, Newton (Tammy) Arbogast, Laura Herring, Amanda (Chad) Jansen, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation for Van will be held Sunday June 9, 2019 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at Howard Funeral Home. Funeral service will be Monday June 10, 2019 beginning at 11:00 a.m. at Howard Funeral Home with Rev. Doug Weekley officiating. Burial will follow in Old Lamine Cemetery.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Online condolences may be left at:


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