Oscar Thomas (Tom) Harris III, 63, passed away peacefully at home and went to be with his Lord on Thursday, August 8, 2019 in Naples, FL. Tom was born November 19, 1955 in Indianapolis, IN, the son of Oscar Thomas Harris, Jr. and Marjorie (Oden) Harris. After Marjorie's death, Tom's father married Barbara Jo (Cragen) Harris who adopted Tom and his brother, John.
Tom grew up in his father's Chevrolet dealership where he learned much about the automotive world. He attended Park Tudor High School where he played on the wrestling and football teams. After graduation in 1974, Tom felt the call of the Lord and attended Fort Wayne Bible College as well as Northwood Institute in West Baden, IN, where he earned an Associates degree in Automotive Management. He desired to demonstrate Godly ethics in the business world and worked at Dick DeVoe Cadillac in Naples, FL and Ogle Tucker Buick in Indianapolis.
Tom married Karen Ann Harker in 1980. He worked at Harris-Jaggers Buick, Pontiac, Olds, GMC in Lebanon, IN and moved to Naples, FL where he operated the service department for Classic Oldsmobile Mazda. Tom and Karen's beloved son, Thomas (TJ), was born in 1987. Tom later owned Harris Horticultural Services.
Tom developed an interest in road cycling and built his skills to a high level, participating in events like The 3 State 3 Mountain in 2017 and the Horsey Hundred in 2018. He cycled from Naples, FL, to Dayton, TN where his son was attending college. He also completed a two week ride from Naples, FL to Zionsville, IN to raise funds for a shelter and rehab facility.
Tom has always been called to teach and serve. He helped run and coach FUSION Speech and Debate Club and tutored students privately. He graduated from the New Hope School of Ministries and later taught there. But his true love and calling was realized in the preaching and teaching of God's word and pastoring disciples of Jesus. Tom co-pastored Son Rise Christian Church, transitioning to a full time pastorate until his death. He taught three nights a week at a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility for the past three years. He was always available to all who desired to learn of the Lord or had a need he could fulfill.
Tom was preceded in death by his birth mother, Marjorie Harris and his father, Oscar Thomas Harris Jr. Surviving are his beloved wife, Karen (Harker) Harris; son, Thomas (TJ) Harris; mother, Barbara Jo Harris; brothers, John Harris, Robert (Tammy) Harris and Anthony (Chastity) Harris; and sisters, Elizabeth (John) Bush and Kimberly (Kevin) Orr.
A memorial service will be celebrated Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm at Golden Gate Assembly of God, 3899 29th Ave SW, Naples, FL 34117. Reception to follow. A graveside service will be held in Zionsville, IN at the Zionsville Cemetery, Saturday, August 17 at 10:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Grace Center Foundation of Bahir Ethiopia, P.O. Box 112692, Naples, FL 34108 or online at gracecenterfoundation.com, which helps impoverished families and orphaned children in Ethiopia.
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Grace Center Foundation of Bahir Ethiopia
P.O. Box 112592, Naples FL 34108