Cover photo for Robert Edward Harris's Obituary
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1937 Robert 2023

Robert Edward Harris

May 19, 1937 — July 25, 2023

Lake City

Robert Edward Harris

Bob passed peacefully, July 25, 2023 at his home, after a 4.5 year battle with prostate cancer, surrounded by his family. Robert Edward (Bob) Harris was born May 19, 1937 in Austin, Mapleview, MN. to Harold (Bob) Harris and Mildred Thompson Harris.  Bob graduated from St. Augustine (now Pacelli)  High School in 1955.  After graduation, he and 8 more of his classmates enlisted in the military.  Bob served 3 years with the United States Navy, most of the time on the USS Preston.  He worked a short time at Weyerhaeuser and later worked for the Austin Public School system for over 36 years.  Bob was an excellent painter. He painted classrooms, playgrounds, gym floors, etc.  He was always teased that it took him 48 years to get out of school.  Bob married Donna Meakins. They were later divorced.  Bob married Ruth Wolthoff Harris in Austin, MN  on April 14, 1972.

Bob loved car racing. He was fortunate to accompany his uncle Clair Cotter and his family in the summer on the IMCA Sprint car racing circuit through the United States and Canada.  Bob cared for Clair’s son Dick and sold programs at the races. This time in his life created some of his most precious memories.  His love of racing continued throughout his lifetime, and he was fortunate to visit some of the greatest NASCAR tracks.  He watched racing every week.  Bob was not only meticulous with his painting but also his tools. His  garage was organized with not a thing out of place. Bob loved his cars, which were very rarely unwashed or unwaxed.  His 1963 Chevy (Brownie) and his 2015 black and yellow Camaro convertible were some of his favorites. Bob also had a passion for motorcycles and enjoyed telling stories of his Sturgis trips. He was happy that his sons all shared the same passion and loved it when his boys visited him on their bikes. Bob will be forever loved and remembered in the hearts of all who knew him.

Bob is survived by his wife, Ruth, his children, Jean (Mark) Gunderson, of Winona, David Harris, Pine Creek, WI, Joan Harris, Melbourne, Fl, Mark Harris, Rich (Patty) Harris, Robert Harris, Jr. (Pat Thrune) of Winona, Paul (Linda) Harris, Rollingstone, MN, Bryan (LynMaree) Harris, Lake City, MN.  11 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren, siblings, Bill (Rosemary) Harris, Rosemount, Mn, Patricia Carroll, Cloquet, MN, Mary (Charles) Arett, Minong, WI, and Tom (Becky) Harris, Lake City, MN, sister-in-law, Elizabeth Hakes-Hunter of Lake City, many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a son Jeffrey Edward Harris, and a grandson Leif Gunderson.

A service to celebrate Bob’s life will be held Friday, July 28, 2023 at St. Mary’s of the Lake in Lake City, MN. The service will be held at 11:00am and visitation will be one hour before from 10:00-11:00am.  Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to Dr. Randy Foss, Dr. Alex Sniders, Marla Carlson, PA, the Urology department in Red Wing and Brenda and Shelli of Mayo Hospice for their wonderful care of Bob.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Bob to Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, MN, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, or Mayo Hospice

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Edward Harris, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, July 28, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church

419 West Lyon Avenue, Lake City, MN 55041

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Funeral Mass

Friday, July 28, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church

419 West Lyon Avenue, Lake City, MN 55041

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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