Date of death: 5/11/2012

Saint Meinrad Class: O 1965

Ed had been a resident of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., for the past 38 years. Ed was the first of four children to be born to Edgar L. Harris and Louanna Mae Holding Harris. He was born on April 19, 1939, in Indianapolis. After graduating from high school, Ed initially considered entering the priesthood, but instead chose to pursue a career in the U.S. Air Force. After filling a tour in Japan, he was stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, where he met and married Larae Coleman in August 1961. At that time Ed joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ed’s loving nature and a desire to serve found a home in his newfound faith. His membership was magnified by many years of selfless devotion and service to others, extending from his family to his community. He held many leadership positions in the Fort Walton Beach First Ward congregation, worked as a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, and is remembered for his generosity and consistent charitable acts of love. In the Air Force, Ed progressed to the rank of senior master sergeant. He attended the NCO Academy and received many awards and commendations throughout his military career.In 1984, Ed graduated from Troy University, summa cum laude, with a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Counseling. Ed retired from the military in 1985 after 28 years of service. He then joined the civilian ranks of Vitro, continuing his previous expertise as warehouse manager and supply. Fifteen years later, Ed retired from BAE, the successor of Vitro.Ed’s leisure moments were filled with gardening, landscaping, and performing service for those in need. He played chess and enjoyed customizing his chess set. Ed was a very good tenor and sang with the church choir and the Fort Walton Beach Community Choir, as well as joining several barbershop quartet groups throughout his military and civilian life.After Ed’s first stroke in 1999, he joined the Brain Injury Connection (BIC); he enjoyed associating with this fine group and served as their Vice-President until his debilitating stroke in 2007.Ed greeted everyone, old friends and new, with “I love you” and a big hug. He left an imprint on the hearts of all who knew him. Right about now, on the other side of the veil, we suspect Ed is mowing Heavenly Father’s lawn and looking for other avenues of service. Ed is survived by his wife, Margaret; by sons, Tony Harris (Wynette) of Clinton, Miss, Mark Harris (Cheryl) of Fort Walton Beach, Earl Harris (Stacey) of Destin, Fla., and Kevin Harris of Fort Walton Beach. He is also survived by his second sons and daughters, Richard F. Caldwell, Gwen Green, Chris Dalton, Benji Dalton and Debbie Berberi. Ed is survived by 21 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He’s also survived by sister, Regina Stene of Queen’s Creek, Ariz.; and relatives in Indiana. Ed was predeceased in death by his parents; his first wife, LaRae Coleman Harris (1984); by his brother, Max Harris (2010); and his sister, Carole Harris (2007).A visitation for friends and family will be held Wednesday, May 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Emerald Coast Funeral Home.A funeral service will be held on Thursday, May 17, at 11 a.m. in the Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 339 Lake Drive, Fort Walton Beach. A one hour visitation will precede the service. Emerald Coast Funeral Home will be handling all arrangements.Memorial donations, in lieu of flowers, should be made to Covenant Hospice, Covenant Hospice Niceville Team, 101 Hart St., Niceville, FL 32578. “