William Barton Harris perished in an aviation accident on Dec. 16, 2010, in Eagle County, Colo. He was born in Dennison, Texas, on Aug. 16, 1943, to W. T. and Helen Harris, and moved to Bangs, Texas, where he graduated from high school in 1961. He attended Texas A&M University and graduated with a degree in Range and Forestry in 1966. Upon graduation, he entered the Naval Flight Program receiving his wings as a Navy Aviator, serving in the Viet Nam Conflict for three years and active service for 12.
In 1966, he was married to Ann Friend of Austin, and upon completion of his active military service moved to Bangs and purchased the local meat processing plant. For 15 years he owned Harris Meats of Bangs, and owned a cow/calf operation. In 1988, he moved to the Industrial Park in Brownwood, as the owner of the W. T Harris Company.
He served as the president of the Texas Oklahoma Meat Processors Association for four years and was on the board of Brown County Farm Bureau, the Brownwood Airport, and the Brown County Fair Association. His involvement in local law enforcement led to many special honors, including the outstanding Citizens Award given by the Texas Department of Public Safety. He was on the inaugural board for Crime Stoppers in Brown County in 1984, and this past year expanded the organizational coverage to Coleman, Mills, and Brown Counties. He served the Bangs community as president of McDaniel Cemetery for many years. Barton was a member of First Baptist Church, Brownwood for 34 years.
He is survived by his wife, Ann of Brownwood; son, Bryce and wife Amber Harris of Brownwood; son, Grant and wife Robyn Harris of Fort Worth; daughter, Melinda Howson of Fort Worth; and five grandchildren, Henley and Holden Harris of Brownwood, Isabella Harris of Fort Worth, and Brooks and Lauren Howson of Fort Worth.
Memorials may be directed to Heart of Texas Crime Stoppers or the Building Fund of First Baptist Church of Brownwood.
Visitation will be held from 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, at Davis-Morris Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20, at First Baptist Church in Brownwood. Interment will be in McDaniel Cemetery.