William Aubrey “Bill” Harris, 80, of Kitty Hawk, passed away peacefully at Sentara Heart Hospital in Norfolk, Saturday, March 18, 2017. A native of Kitty Hawk, he was the son of the late Aubrey Alonzo Harris and Edna Baum Harris. He graduated from Elizabeth City High School, and Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. He served 8 years in the United States Coast Guard and USCG Reserves.
Upon graduation, he joined the National Park Service and became a Historian at Wright Brothers National Memorial Cape Hatteras National Seashore Park, Ft. McHenry National Park (MD), Mt. Rushmore (SD), and was promoted to Superintendent of Custer Battlefield (MT), Ft. Moultrie and Ft. Sumter (SC), Cape Hatteras National Seashore (NC), Cumberland Island (GA), and Cape Lookout (NC). He was then a special assistant in the Atlanta Regional Office before returning to Cape Hatteras National Seashore where he retired after 38 years with the National Park Service.
After retirement, he returned to his roots in Kitty Hawk where he served on the Town Council as mayor 2001-2005. His love of Kitty Hawk drove this native to many years of extensive research and recording history of the families, events, and community. He recently completed the script for his proposed book about the Village of Kitty Hawk and its people. His hobby became photography of nature and local landmarks and he built an extensive collection.
He was a Lifetime Member of the First Flight Society, serving for many years on its board and as its chairman. He had a special love of The Wright Brothers’ story due to his early family ties. He was a member of the Manteo Lodge #521 AF&AM, Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church, active in local genealogy associations, and he was involved on various community committees over the years.
Bill was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and family man. His love and devotion to family connected him to many individuals in the community and he never met a stranger and could find a family relationship in his daily contacts.
Along with his parents, Bill was predeceased by his brother, Roy Clavis Harris.
Bill is survived by his daughter, Judith Harris Fearing (Craig), and her mother, Frances Williams Harris; sister, Geneva Perry-Ward (Alvah); and grandchildren, Jillian, Chandler and Lindsea Fearing. He is also survived by nephews, Mike Harrell (DeDee), and Clay Harris (Lisa); nieces, Cathy Elwang, Melanie H. Michael (Greg), and Allison H. Hope (Jeff); great-nieces, Randi H. Skaggs (Jerry), Tricia H. Tawes (David), and Chelsea E. Schoonmaker (Ray); great-nephews, Josh Elwang, and Scott Hope; great-great-nephew, Tucker Skaggs; great-great-nieces, Kesleigh and Samantha Harris, Julia and Anna Tawes, and Macy Skaggs; special cousins, Lorna S. Clark (family) and Matilda B. Zuhars (family); and many many cousins and extended family.
A Celebration of Bill’s Life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church to be officiated by Reverend Jonathan Mills. Friends are invited to visit the family at Bill’s home in Kitty Hawk.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The First Flight Society, PO Box 1903, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949, or Kitty Hawk Fire Dept., PO Box 549, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949.
Twiford Funeral Home, Manteo is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed at www.TwifordFH.com.
Twiford Funeral Home (Manteo)
500 Budleigh Street, PO Box 595
Fax: (252) 473-3392