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In loving memory of
John Rexal Harris, II
  • November 07, 1945
  • -
  • March 08, 2012

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Obituary

JOHN REXAL HARRIS, II, USAF Major, Ret., age 66, of Biloxi, Mississippi, passed from this life on Thursday, March 8, 2012.   John was born November 7, 1945 in Jackson, MS to John R. Harris, Sr. and Melba Watkins Harris.  A graduate of USM, John was an adoring and admired husband, father, brother, grandfather, godfather, and uncle.  In addition to these, John was a renaissance southern gentleman in every sense of the words.  He was a gifted wordsmith, a talented singer, a USAF C-130 navigator and Hurricane Hunter, a Sig Ep fraternity brother, a defender of right, a hero, an avid photographer, a computer systems analyst and “Mad Techie,” an instructor, a mentor, co-founder of the “Harris Halfway House,” an enthusiastic cook, a punster, an amateur architect, a theater lover, a sports fan, a recital goer, a “do-it-yourselfer,” a world traveler, and the list goes on.   In his life, John made friends wherever he went, both through real world travels and online.  His career moved him to San Antonio, TX; Sacramento, CA; Abilene, TX; Little Rock, AR; Hattiesburg, MS; Philippines; Ocean Springs, MS; Guam; Troy, IL; Fort Walton Beach, FL; and Annapolis, MD.   John (“Johnny” to loved ones) rejoins his beloved wife of 40 years, Charlene, son-in-law, Chip Layson, brother, David, and his parents.  He is sorely missed by daughters Kerri Anne Thompson of Ocean Springs, MS and Heather Layson (Derek) Brown, of Winter Park, FL; his grandchildren Rhyan Elizabeth Thompson, Miles Derek Brown, Zed Clark Layson V, Kyle Justin Brown, Skylar Elysse Thompson, Caroline Grace Layson, and Harris McIntyre Layson; his sister, Marcia Belinda (Ronald) Gilstrap of Philadelphia, MS: his brother, William Paul (Jackie) Harris of Bloomington, IL; his sister-in-law Kathleen (Bob) Blankenship of Tyler, TX; his brother-in-law David (Celeste) Glass of Slidell, LA; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.   John’s extended family included Ron and Ginnie Spock, and their sons, Todd and Ross of Niceville, FL; Paul and Mary Schabacker and their daughters, Mary Beth, Gracie and Katie of Birmingham, AL; and Al and Marie Jacquet of Biloxi, MS.   Remembrances can be made in his name to the American Heart Association, www.AmericanHeart.org or 1101 Northcase parkway, Marietta, GA  30067.    Remembrances can be made in his name to the American Heart Association, www.AmericanHeart.org or 1101 Northcase parkway, Marietta, GA  30067. 

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  1. 20 Mar 2012
    Kendall J. Wright says:
    I flew with John 39 years ago in Southeast Asia, and was also with him and the rest of the family in the Philippines. They took me into their hearts during a tough time in my life, and I've loved them all ever since.

    Johnny, I miss you and Charlene every day, and you will stay in my heart forever.

  2. 18 Mar 2012
    Joyce & Tony Holland says:
    John played such a huge part in our memories that it's hard to express the sadness we feel at his passing. He and Charlene were family to us for longer than I can remember. I (Joyce) first met them in Mississippi thirty-some years ago. We will never forget either of them.
    All of the Champagne Sunday crowd sends their love and remembrances, We will toast to you both today with love in our hearts.

  3. 16 Mar 2012
    Belinda Harris Gilstrap says:
    Beloved brother, husband, father, friend...we miss you...bunches and bunches...Be

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