Visitation, service planned Friday for Billy Ray Harris

Billy Ray Harris, 85 of Martin, died Monday, Jan. 4, at Byron Manor in Byron Center.

Born May 17, 1935, in Harlan, Ky., he was the son of the late Lee and Verda (Adams) Harris and the husband of the late Charlotte Ann (Cowels) Harris. Billy and Charlotte lived most of their lives in Wayland and Martin prior to Charlotte’s passing in 2013.

Billy was a hard-working man who did whatever he needed to provide for his family, sometimes working two jobs at a time, and was still more than happy to help out at home whenever Charlotte needed an extra hand. He loved his family deeply and proved to them time and again that he would be there for them.

One of his favorite pastimes was when his son, Michael, would take him to karaoke Friday nights at the 10th Street Saloon in Plainwell. Billy would dress up in his cowboy garb, hat and all, and sing his favorite country songs.

He is survived by his children, Debbie (Ed) Clark, Danny (Michelle) Harris and Michael (Sandra) Harris; two brothers, James Jones and Paul Wayne (Bonnie) Jones; one nephew, Lonnie (Carol) Hampton; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.

Besides his parents and his wife, Billy was preceded in death by his two sons, Mark Harris and Jimmy Harris; one grandson, Christopher Harris; one granddaughter, Jennifer Medina; and five siblings, Howard Harris, JB Harris, Kathleen Harris, Irene Harris and Jewel Harris.

Friends may meet with the family from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, at Gorden Funeral Residence, Allegan Chapel, at which time the funeral service will begin. In accordance with current regulations, attendance will be strictly limited to 25 people, so those not able to attend are welcome to join via livestream by visiting

Billy will be laid to rest next to Charlotte in South Martin Cemetery, Martin Township, at a later date.

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