Cover photo for Owen  D.  Harris's Obituary
Owen  D.  Harris Profile Photo

Owen D. Harris

September 1, 1934 — October 20, 2016

Owen D. Harris, 82, of Valdosta, died on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital after a sudden illness. He was born to the late Owen Edmund & Sally Mildred Tanner Harris in Blackshear. Mr. Harris grew up in Pierce County and graduated from Blackshear High School and was the star of the basketball team. Even during his high school days, his entrepreneurial talents were budding as he purchased and bagged peanuts and then hired someone to sell them for him. After graduation, he soon joined the U. S. Army and served briefly prior to attending college on the GI Bill. He graduated from Georgia Southern University in 1961. He married the former Nelda Batten that same year.
After considering both the Secret Service and the Social Security Administration, he favored his family and took the job with Social Security. In 1963, Mr. Harris's job moved the family from Jacksonville to Valdosta. Mr. Harris had admired the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain for several years and while in Valdosta, he began to pursue opening a franchise of the chain here. He was able to start his own Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in 1965 on Ashley Street. Mr. Harris worked at these KFC restaurants for over 50 years and helped grow the business to more than 4 locations.
Mr. Harris was also very active in the community. A member of the Chamber of Commerce for over 50 years, he served as President of the chamber in the mid-1980s. He also served as President of the South Eastern Kentucky Fried Chicken Association and President of the Valdosta Country Club. Mr. Harris was a supporter of the Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta, a member of the Valdosta Rotary Club and was Past Chairman of the Valdosta State University Foundation and served on the Valdosta Technical College Board (now Wiregrass). Mr. Harris was a member of First Presbyterian Church.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Nelda Harris; his son, Tim Harris and his daughter, Marsha Harris, all of Valdosta; three grandchildren, Marissa Pennington of Atlanta, Chloe Harris and Ivey Harris, both of Valdosta. Also surviving are brother and sister in law, Ted & Jeanette Harris of Brunswick, a sister and brother in law, Dianne & Terrell Davis of Blackshear and brother & sister in law, Don & Eris Harris also of Blackshear; and numerous nieces & nephews. Mr. Harris is preceded in death by his grandson, Jarrod Tanner Stump, his mother in law, Lucy V. Batten and daughter in law, Dana S. Harris.
The funeral for Mr. Harris will be held in the chapel of Carson McLane Funeral Home at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 24, 2016. Rev. Glenda Hollingshead will officiate. Burial will follow at McLane Riverview Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Sunday afternoon from 3 until 5 p.m. Flowers will be accepted or donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church's Break Bread Together ministry. Condolences may be conveyed to the family on the obituary page of Carson McLane Funeral Home

Funeral Home:
Carson McLane Funeral Home
2215 North Patterson Street
Valdosta, GA
US 31602

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

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Monday, October 24, 2016

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