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May 29, 2014

Harris funeral to be Tuesday at Simmons Center

DUNCAN — A funeral service for Junior Harris, the director of the Simmons Center who was killed in a car crash, will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Simmons Center with burial at Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin with military honors, the Don Grantham Funeral Home announced Wednesday.

Visitation with the family be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home, 1502 U.S. Highway 81 in Duncan.

Harris became a widely popular figure in Duncan after he arrived in 2008 to run the Simmons Center, the city’s premiere gathering place for recreation, business and social activity.

It seems appropriate to many that services for Harris will be at the Simmons Center.

“It’s 10 times better than it was six years ago when he came here,” said board member Chuck Siess. “Junior had a well-run ship.”

Siess and Hal Labyer, both former board chairmen of the center, and current board president Cindy Reynolds are collaborating to run the run the center for the time being, Siess said.

“It takes three of us to do the job he was doing,” said Siess.

The Simmons Center has about 75 full-time and part-time employees, he said.

  Harris was a member of the Rotary Club, whose members remembered him Wednesday during the service organization’s regular meeting at the Simmons Center.

He was active in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and was to accompany a group to the program in two weeks.

“The kids looked up to him,” said Reynolds, the Simmons Center board president, who called the death of Harris “a devastating loss.”

Harris leaves his wife Anna and two sons, Javon and Devonte.

Javon Harris was a starting safety for the University of Oklahoma football team and was signed as a free agent with the Arizona Cardinals, who released him in August.

Devonte was a standout football player at Duncan High School.

Police have not determined a cause for the one-car accident that killed Harris on Memorial Day at about 3:30 p.m.

Investigators said Harris was driving south on U.S. Highway 81 near the Osage intersection when his Avalanche pickup left the highway, struck a culvert and rolled end-over-end, ejecting him from the vehicle.

 

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