Dr. Joseph Patrick Harris- Entomologist
Dr. Pat Harris, loving husband and father, passed at the age of 82. He was born January 13, 1939 in Decatur, Ms. His parents were Jerry and Mittie Lou Harris.
Dr. Pat Harris was a devoted Christian, loving husband, daddy, and granddaddy. He enjoyed his job, riding in the country, watching old westerns, reading, and spending time with his family. Not a day went by that he didn’t tell one of his children or grandchildren, “You’re so precious, and I love you so much.”
He was married to Linda Bazemore Harris, whom he loved dearly, for 55 years. Along with his wife, he is survived by his children, COL Jeff (Ty) Harris (Christina), Becky Warren (Greg), Betsy Harris, and Patsy Cleveland (Cory), and 6 grandchildren, Mary Jordan Harris, Courtney Harris, Reagan Warren, Bailey Warren, Andy Barnett, and Dylan Barnett. He had 2 sisters, 2 brothers, and many nieces and nephews. He was a faithful member of Clarke Venable Baptist Church.
Dr. Pat Harris received his PHD in entomology from Mississippi State University. He loved MSU and always bled maroon and white. Most people referred to him as “Dr. Pat.” He was employed with Mississippi State University Extension Service for 25 years, and insect control industry for 10 years. Throughout his career, Dr. Harris received thousands of dollars in grants for support of research in insect control. He worked with farmers, county agents and industries in insect control for crops, cattle, lawns, and nonagricultural land. He travelled most of the state working with specialists from Plant Pathology, Weed Science, Animal Science, Computer Science, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy, Forestry, 4-H Youth, Home Economics, Horticulture, and Wildlife & Fisheries. He once travelled as far as South America for two weeks to work with agricultural specialists in helping farmers with their crops.
Dr. Harris gave lectures on entomology and agriculture to youth in public schools, civic clubs, workshops, 4-H Youth, Wildlife & Fisheries among many other organizations. Dr. Harris published articles/newsletters on insect control concerning gardens, trees, turf, and lawns to the following publications: Louisiana-Mississippi Christmas Tree Association Newsletter, The Vegetable Press and MS Turf Newsletter, Quick Reference Insect Control Guide for all crops, and Entomological Society of America journal. Dr. Harris received a multitude of awards for his work as an entomologist and was a member of professional associations such as MS Entomological Association, MS Association of County Agricultural Agents, National Association of County Agricultural Agents, to name a few. He also served as president and board member of the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce, member of the Decatur School Board and president of the Lions Club. The Pat and Linda Harris Endowed Scholarship for a graduate student in Entomology at MSU was established in August 1997, and for an undergraduate student in the Agricultural Pest Management Program at MSU in August 1998.
Dr. Pat Harris was an outstanding man, entomologist, spiritual leader, provider, and patriarch of his family. He was so loved and will be forever cherished and missed.
Visitation will be Wednesday, April 14, 2021, from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM at Clarke-Venable Baptist Church. Funeral Services will follow at 12:00 PM at the church. Burial will be in Decatur City Cemetery. Rev. Mark Vincent and Bro. Ben Harper will officiate. Newton County Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements (601) 635-3200
Pallbearers will be Cole Harris, Steve Simkins, Scott Simkins, Andy Barnett, Dylan Barnett, and Reagan Warren.
Honorary Pallbearer will be Charlotte Griffin.
An online obituary may be signed at www.newtoncountyfuneralhome.com