Herman Earl Harris, 74, of Gonzales, passed away Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Herman was born Jan. 29, 1941, in Waelder. He graduated from Waelder High School in 1959 as the top boy in his class. He went on to attend Texas A&M University, Class of `63, earning a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science and serving as a proud member of the Corps of Cadets. He later earned his master’s degree in education from Texas A&M as well.
In 1963 he married Diana Sue Cooper of Flatonia. They were married for 52 years, choosing to raise their family of three daughters in Gonzales.
Herman served in the U.S. Army for several years in the 1960s, achieving the highest rank possible before having to opt out or commit to an Army career. He chose to leave the military and instead taught for 32 years in Gonzales and Smiley public schools. He thrived as a science educator and got just as excited as his students did when the meteorology or geology units came around. In the summers, he often worked as a highly skilled carpenter.
Until his death, Herman had been serving as the Gonzales County Veterans service officer. Even as his health began to fail, he took calls and tried to help residents who needed guidance on his own time at home. It wasn’t just a job for him, it was his way of giving back.
Herman was known around Gonzales County as a favorite 8th-grade teacher, a cattle rancher, a farmer, and a man of integrity and quick wit. He was rarely seen without his boots, a Texas A&M cap or straw Stetson and a worn pair of wranglers. He had a soft spot for good dogs, smart kids, and a strong margarita on the rocks.
He adored his wife, his girls and his grandchildren. He was most at peace in the pasture, with his cattle. He loved going dancing with Sue just about every Friday and Saturday night when they were younger. After all, he could two-step and jitterbug like nobody’s business.
Through the years, when he wasn’t working at the family’s Sue’s Sound Shop, teaching, gardening, woodworking or ranching, you could hear him blasting Credence Clearwater Revival or C.W. McCall from his green Ford pickup or watching Aggie football in the fall.
Herman is survived by his wife, Diana Sue Harris of Gonzales and three daughters who grew up with not just a father, but a hero. The daughters and their spouses are: Donna Harris Urbanovsky and Steve Urbanovsky of Caldwell, Kathy Harris and Ryan Ripp of Colorado and Hope Harris Mills and Jimmy Mills of Gonzales.
He also leaves behind five grandchildren — all of whom thought “Pa” was about as intelligent and funny as it gets: Dylan and Taylor Mills, Kate and Kelly Urbanovsky and McIntyre Harris Ripp. As one of his grandkids once said when asked if he should look up the name of an insect online, he replied, “Even better, let’s call Pa.”
He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Edith Harris of Saturn.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 11 in the Saturn Cemetery with Pastor Andy Smith officiating. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church or the Gonzales County Veterans Memorial Association, 526 CR 238, Gonzales, Texas 78629. Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home.
And the colonel of the Cadet Corps said
As he stiffly took his stand,
“It’s just another Corps Trip, boys,
We’ll march in behind the band.”
-Last verse of The Last Corps Trip by P.H. DuVal, Jr.'51