Lee Edwin Harris passed to his eternal home on July 14, 2021, at his home in Independence, Kansas, surrounded by his loved ones. He lived with a brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), from January 2019, until the Lord called him home. He leaves behind his wife, Stephanie (Plute) Harris; two sons and their families, Adam and Chelsea Harris and grandsons Ethan, Nolan and Jordan of Broomfield, Colorado; Austin Harris and granddaughter Teagan of Independence, Kansas; brother Gary and wife Debbie Harris of Lansdale, Pennsylvania; sister Donna (Don) Delp of York, Pennsylvania, and one sister-in-law, Stacy (Rob) Works of Tampa, Florida, and his mother-in-law Barbara Plute of Tampa, Florida. He also leaves behind nieces and nephews, cousins, and uncles. He was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Ruth Elaine (Overholt) Harris; grandparents Olin and Flora (Layman) Harris; Horace and Margaret (Schmell) Overholt; father-in-law Doyal R. Plute, and brother-in-law Stephen R. Plute.
Lee was born on May 14, 1954, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he grew up. He graduated from Central Bucks East High School in Pennsylvania in 1972, and then attended John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas where he graduated with a degree in Construction Management in 1976. He met his wife Stephanie at JBU, and they were married on February 11, 1978. They made their home in Chanute, Kansas, before moving to Independence and began raising a family.
Lee worked in construction his entire life, and loved working with his hands, building and renovating structures. His first job after graduation from JBU was for DeMerritt Construction in Chanute, then worked for Guaranty Performance and Midland Construction of Independence. He took a position at Decker Construction, Inc. of Coffeyville, Kansas as VP and Project Manager where he worked from 1983 until his retirement in 2019. In the Southeast Kansas area, a few of the projects he managed were the construction of the two Appletree Inns, Sleep Inn, and Best Western; Veterans Memorial Stadium, CRMC, and Memorial Hall in Independence, other projects included Oklahoma Union, AmericInn of Hesston, doctor’s offices, school buildings, and hotels throughout Kansas and Oklahoma.
Lee enjoyed raising his family, and helped his boys participate in playing sports, and being involved in school and church programs as well as 4H. He set an example by his actions more than his words. He was a perfectionist in the craft of building, and had little tolerance for a job not well done. He took great satisfaction in each project he did, and especially his own. He preferred to renovate than remodel, and everything had to be done “right”.
When he wasn’t involved in construction, he and his wife enjoyed playing cards in weekly games with friends; and traveling.
Lee grew up attending First Baptist Church of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and later was a member of the First Southern Baptist and First Baptist Churches of Independence, and Bolton Friends Church of Bolton, Kansas. Although Lee was not ready to leave his family, and his wishes were to have lived awhile longer to see his grandchildren grow up and enjoy his retirement years, he was a Christian, and ready to meet his Maker. It is with both sadness and assurance that we let him go.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, July 19, 2021 at 11:00 am at Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel 2405 Woodland Ave. Coffeyville, KS 67337, with Pastor Grady Miller officiating, burial will immediately follow at Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to sign the register Sunday, July 18, 2021 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm at the Chapel. To share a memory or to leave the family a message of condolence, please visit www.fordwulfbrunschapel.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lee Edwin Harris, please visit our floral store.