Kenneth Harris

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Kenneth E. Harris, 92, of Belleville, IL, born August 24,1925, in Belleville, IL, died, Monday, April 16, 2018, at St. Paul’s Home, Belleville, IL.

Mr. Harris was a retired school teacher and band director, having taught at New Athens, O’Fallon and Belleville.  He was a member of Christ United Church of Christ, Belleville, the VFW, Belleville-Swansea Moose Lodge 1221, the former Musicians Local 29-717, the St. Clair County Anglers Association, and the Swansea Improvement Association.  He was also a member of the Retired Teachers Association, the 25 Club, and the Belleville City League Softball Hall of Fame.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Rebecca Reimann; his parents, Elmer and Amelia, nee Franz, Harris; and a brother, William Harris.

Surviving are his loving wife of 68 years, Doris E., nee Snyder, Harris of York, PA, whom he married November 12, 1949;
two sons, Kenneth D. (Cristin) Harris of Lusby, MD, and Mark D. (Martha) Harris of Bartlesville, OK;
four grandchildren, Marketa (David) Grass, and Geoffrey, Emma, and Elȁn Harris;
two step-grandchildren, Hunter Broom and Kelly Barry;
and one great-granddaughter, Amelia Grass.

Memorial donations may be made to the Belleville Philharmonic Society. Condolences may be made to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may visit with the family from 9:30 a.m.  to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 21, 2018, at Christ United Church of Christ, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 21, 2018, at Christ United Church of Christ, 26 North 14th Street, Belleville, IL, with Rev. Jon Tinge officiating.

Burial with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 23, 2018, at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.


14 Comments on Kenneth Harris

Amanda Compton LoPresti said : Guest Report Apr 24, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Dear Mrs. Harris, I am so sorry to hear about Mr. Harris. He was my very first clarinet teacher, for about four years, at St. Teresa's. He always encouraged me, and I still think of him when I play. You were both so instrumental in my early music development (thank you for all of your wonderful accompaniment for contest season), and he will be greatly missed. Love, Mandy

  • Chicago
  • IL
The compton family said : Guest Report Apr 23, 2018 at 10:26 PM

Mrs. Harris and family- we were so sorry to hear of Mr. Harris’ passing. He was such a kind and gentle man. We were out of town so we were unable to come to services. We will be making a donation to your chosen group. Jim and Barb Compton and family

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
dirk said : Guest Report Apr 23, 2018 at 3:48 PM

Mr. Harris was my first band teacher in Belleville, I still remember his encouragement and enthusiasm. In high school I became close friends with his son Mark and got to see Ken and Doris at their home for many years. He was always warm, kind, a gentle soul, and genuinely interested in what I was up to... My thoughts are with the Harris Family. sincerely, Dirk Stevenson

  • hinesville
  • ga
Vicky Smolik said : Guest Report Apr 22, 2018 at 1:05 PM

I am sorry to hear of Kenny passing. He was my band director, my friend and gave me a lot of support through my whole life in my musical career. Had it not been for him I would have not been a professional musician. To the whole family I give you my thoughts and prayers.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Glenn Keuss said : Guest Report Apr 21, 2018 at 4:04 PM

Sorry to hear of Ken's passing. He was a great music teacher and baseball coach. He taught me in the 1950's at New Athens High School.

  • Lake Villa
  • IL
James Burk said : Guest Report Apr 21, 2018 at 2:52 PM

To a wonderful teacher and baseball coach. Most of all to a wonderful man. I was blessed to be a player under coach Harris at New Athens Comunity High School in 1953. Our deepest sympathy are with Doris and family. Love Class of 1953 James Burk and Joan Burk

  • New Athens
  • Il
Barb Gass said : Guest Report Apr 21, 2018 at 1:11 PM

To the Harris Family, I am so sorry to read of Ken's passing. We were neighbors for a short while when I bought my first house. Those were good times and I remember his happy, friendly smile. With hugs & sympathy, Barb & Paul Gass

  • Belleville
  • IL
Christel Hughes said : Guest Report Apr 20, 2018 at 5:13 PM

Mr Harris was my first band teacher/director. I was in Fourth Grade and District 118 brought music back into the district after being gone for 20 years. I have always treasured being a part of that first year back. Mr. Harris was our classroom music teacher and band teacher/director. I still remember how he would say music, "MOO_SIC" with a smile when we came into the kindergarten room used as a sectionals room. I am a music teacher myself now and my inspiration to become one stems back 1978, when Mr. Harris brought music back into our school and hearts!!!

  • columbia
  • il
Lois Gentsch said : Guest Report Apr 20, 2018 at 4:24 PM

I was so sorry to learn of Ken's death. I have known him since I was a small child and he was a great gentleman.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Susan Karr said : Guest Report Apr 20, 2018 at 1:54 PM

My heartfelt and sincere condolences for the loss of a very important man. He was my band and orchestra leader at school. He was very inspirational, kind and encouraging to his students and I worked hard to make him proud of me in band and orchestra. Outside of class he was always friendly to his students and made each one of us feel special and an integral part of the school experience. I have always been proud to have been one of his students. He was a special person who gave unselfishly in his work to his students. I will never forget his kindness to all of us. Suzi (Susan) Karr

  • Tucson
  • AZ
Ron said : Guest Report Apr 20, 2018 at 12:15 PM

I didn't know Mr. Harris but if he was anything like his son Ken, I know he was a great man. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Harris family during this time.

  • Gaithersburg
  • Md
Osceola Mueller said : Guest Report Apr 20, 2018 at 12:24 AM

Fine teacher, band director, colleague, gentleman -just a few descriptive words that apply to Kenny Harris. Sympathies to his sweet wife, Doris and his children and grandchildren. God bless and keep you all. Osceola and Ken Mueller

  • ofallon
  • Il
Mark Riesenberger said : Guest Report Apr 19, 2018 at 12:36 PM

Doris, I was saddened to read of Kenneth's passing. I didn't know him of course but it was you who gave me my lifelong love of classical music. I have thought of you often over the years and have always been grateful that you played at my mother's funeral. May God bless you in your time of sorrow.

  • O'Fallon
  • IL
Katie said : Guest Report Apr 19, 2018 at 5:15 AM

Ken, a respected co-worker and forever friend. My sympathy to his family.

  • Tigard
  • Oregon

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