and third oldest person in the world, passed away peacefully Wednesday, July 25, 2012, at the Rock Island Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
Funeral services will be at noon Aug. 1, 2012, at Second Baptist Church, Rock Island. Visitation is 10 a.m. until service time on Wednesday at the church. Burial will follow at National Cemetery, Rock Island. Memorials may be made to the Second Baptist Church. Condolences may be left at www.hodgsonfuneralhome.com.
Shelby Harris was born March 31, 1901, the youngest of seven children born to William and Alice Harris. He was born and grew up in a small southern Indiana town called Ayrshire. In his youth, he worked in the area coal mines until he moved to Clinton, Ind. He later relocated to East Moline and worked at the Union Malleable (which became the John Deere foundry). Mr. Harris served in the U.S. Army during WWII and had worked at the Dutch Inn, downtown Rock Island, until it closed. Mr. Harris was married to Jimmie Moore, who preceded him in death in 1977.
Mr. Harris, Deacon Shelby, Uncle Shelby or Uncle Shelfy, as he was lovingly called, was a member and deacon of the Second Baptist Church for more than 65 years and was active until he was 102 years old. He went into the Rock Island Nursing & Rehab Center at the age of 105 years. On June 1, 2012, he became the oldest man to have been born in Indiana. In June 2012, he was crowned the 1st King of the Juneteenth Festival in Davenport (an African American celebration).
Shelby had five grandchildren, several great- and great-great-grandchildren, his church family and other friends and family whom he leaves behind to remember him. He was proud to be an American and was very thankful to have seen the first black president in the White House.
Survivors include his grandchildren, Alfred (Cynthia) Hurt, Beverly Hurt, Shirleen Hurt, Indianapolis, Ind., William (Margie) Johnson, Cincinnati, Ohio; and several great-grandchildren. Shelby was preceded in death by his parents, two daughters, wives, four brothers and two sisters.
The family would like to thank the staff of the R.I. Nursing & Rehab Center for the love they showed
in the care provided to Shelby. He was dad, grandpa, the godfather and many other loving names
and nicknames to all who served him and got to know him; they, too, were his family. We thank God
for all of you.
Colona, IL Details
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