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William B. Harris

William Harris


William Harris obituary, Albuquerque, NM

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French Funerals & Cremations - Wyoming

7121 Wyoming Boulevard

Albuquerque, New Mexico


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Feb. 15, 2024

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Wyoming Chapel

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William Harris Obituary

William Basil (Bill) Harris 

William Basil (Bill) Harris passed away peacefully in his own bed, Thursday morning, February 8, 2024, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, never waking up from what we like to believe was a deep, heavenly sleep granted by his Heavenly Father. Bill was born on July 31, 1953, into a military family in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, son of Lieutenant Colonel James Maxie Harris, US Air Force, and Betty Jane Goodman Harris, a well-known local artist. 

Bill's life in Albuquerque was rowdy with a household of 3 boys, Bill and his two brothers, Jamie and Vaughn. They always had a plan for the day whether it was riding bicycles or putting on a play for mom, dad and Gram (grandmother). Their lives would change when his father was asked to serve at the Pentagon for 5 years. This of course provided many learning experiences for everyone with access to Washington, D.C. and making friends with dignitaries from across the nation. 

Upon Bill's father's retirement, the family returned to Albuquerque where he continued his high school education and decided to go to UNM College where he obtained his bachelor's degree in Theatre. UNM provided Bill along with his special high school friends, not only a play-ground for doing what "boys will do" but also the academics they needed for their careers. Bill chose theatre which added yet another layer to his fun-loving nature and would eventually lead him to years of acting in local theatres, working as a DJ at the radio station and then landing a job at Channel 7 as the Host of Dialing for Dollars and the New Mexico Lottery. He didn't stop there. Next learning experience would be how to write and produce advertisements for television. Bill found fame NOT on the theatre stage but on television; he could be pointed out in any crowd. Despite this little bit of fame, Bill's humble heart and love for each person he worked alongside, even grade school friends old buddies from high school and college continued to be a priority in his life producing lifelong relationships. 

Then, look out world, Southwest Airlines hires this young man with a heart of gold for serving others and a living example of what Southwest Airlines would come to be known as "the love air-lines". Bill was an easy learner and moved up through different departments setting his sights on becoming an Operations Agent. 

This job would involve not only serving airline customers but working with pilots, flight attendants, Reservations, Customer Service and basically any other departments related to get-ting the planes off on time. Bill's main goal was to offer each customer the best service he could along with his genuine smile and warm personality. After 24 years, he decided to move over to the Freight Department and learn something entirely different but still required a heart of service to customers using Southwest Airlines cargo services. 

Bill expanded his life of service after retiring from 28 years at Southwest by volunteering to help clean up designated bus stops and any trash along the medians that were safe to clean. Retirement also gave him the time to prioritize his new found hours to see how he could help near by neighbors that were sick or had projects they needed help with and also volunteer getting donations to shelters and drug addiction rehabs. 

He left behind his wife, Deborah of 16 years; his brother, James M. Harris in Belen NM; his nephew, David Harris of Utah; his niece, Emily Harris of Florida; his two steps son, Phillip Estes of Albuquerque and Robert Estes of Brooklyn, NY; and his cousin and wife, Jim and Nathalie Harris of Wimberley, TX. He was preceded in death by his father, James Maxie Harris, his mother, Betty Jane Harris and his brother Vaughn Harris. 

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity or nearby homeless shelter or drug addiction re-hab. 

A Celebration of Bill's life will be held at French Funeral & Cremations, 7121 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM, on Thursday, February 15, 2024, at 2:00 PM

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02/13/24 09:03 PM #1    

Nancy Koschmann (Seemann)

If I were asked to sum up Bill in one word, I would choose joy. He lit up every room he ever entered, with his joyful smile and his joyful heart. He was way ahead of the rest of us in learning early that the best life to live is a life of serving - and he lived it to the fullest. We had just a couple of minutes talking at the 50th reunion, but it was evident that he had found joy and fulfillment in his life with Deborah. I was happy to see him thriving. I can only imagine his joy at entering his heavenly home - and that it is a better place with him there. Prayers for peace for all who mourn him. Bill, you will be dearly missed, but you have left a rich legacy for us in your leading by example all these years.

02/14/24 05:37 AM #2    

Paul Hoffman

Bill was bigger than life. Always smiling and kind to all.  While we saw each other infrequently over the years since high school, our conversation picked up as if we had only paused to look around. The  memories of locker tennis make me smile. So glad I knew him. We will talk again one day. 

02/15/24 10:25 AM #3    

Kathryn Mercek (Johnson)

I have fond memories of Bill.  In conversation, he always made you feel like you were the most important person in that conversation.  Such a personable man, i was blessed to know him.  God speed Bill.  Condolences to your family.

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