Gene Harris

HAVANA - Gene Raymond Harris, 68, of Havana passed away at 10:20 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, at Havana Health Care.

He was born Oct. 23, 1944, in Mattoon, Ill., at home to William O. and Elizabeth Edna (Mullins) Harris. He married Jane L. Frost on July 22, 1967, in Mattoon.

Mr. Harris is survived by his wife, Jane, daughter, Melanie (Dr. Renold) Bleem, and two grandchildren, Samuel and McKenna Bleem, all of Havana; two brothers, Tony (Lois) Harris of Gays, Ill., and Carl (Frances) Harris of Charleston, Ill.; and two sisters, Lola (Bob) Craig and Lillie Gaston, both of Mattoon.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Marne Jean Harris; and seven brothers and sisters, William O. "Jr." Harris, Elizabeth Fetters, Ed Harris, Bob Harris, Betty Harris, Cecil Harris and John Harris.

Gene was known for his infectious smile and for being an active volunteer in his community. He participated regularly with the local Legion Post 138, Havana VFW Post 6408 and was a lifetime member of the Mason District Hospital Auxiliary. Gene was present at many Project Thanksgiving dinners, where his favorite job was delivering meals to shut-ins.

He was a member of the Havana Church of Christ. Most recently, he could be found offering his time filling needs at his church.

He was a former member of the Havana Optimist Club.

Gene joined the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17 and served from 1962 until 1966, also serving in the Vietnam War.

He worked as a journeyman ironworker with Local 112 in Peoria, retiring after over 40 years.

A celebration of life will be held at the Havana Church of Christ at 12 noon on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, with visitation two hours prior to the services. The Rev. Bill Boyce will officiate. Cremation rites have been accorded and burial will be held at Dodge Grove Cemetery in Mattoon at a later date. A luncheon will follow the services on Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Havana.

Memorial contributions may be made to his church.

Online memorial messages may be left for the family at

Hurley Funeral Home in Havana is in charge of arrangements.

Funeral Home

Hurley Funeral Home - Havana
217 North Plum Street Havana, IL 62644
(309) 543-2244

Published in Peoria Journal Star on Sept. 5, 2013