Franklin Delano Harris, 86, of Laurie, Mo., passed away from complications of lung cancer on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, with his son by his side.

Franklin Delano Harris, 86, of Laurie, Mo., passed away from complications of lung cancer on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, with his son by his side. He was born on November 27, 1933, in Milan, Mo., the son of Hazel and Everett Harris.

He graduated from Milan High School in 1951. He held a degree in agriculture from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a master’s degree in public health from the University of Nebraska, where, except for submitting a dissertation, he also completed a Ph.D. program in public health. He served in the U.S. Army 2nd Armored Division in West Germany from 1956 – 1958.

In 1958, he married Phyllis Kay Badger of Browning, Mo., and they celebrated 61 years of marriage last August before her unexpected death in November. He is survived by a son John (Cari); and by three grandchildren, Ashley and Brandon Rinne and Claire Harris. He was also preceded in death by his daughter Cynthia Rinne.

For 27 years, Kay and Franklin called Lincoln, Neb., home, where Franklin was Bureau Director of the Nebraska Department of Health. They raised their children in Lincoln and hosted many friends and relatives when Mizzou played Nebraska. He was a member of Elks Lodge #80 and later Lodge #2705 in Laurie, holding leadership positions in both. He was a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge.

In 1995, Kay and Franklin retired to the Lake of the Ozarks near Laurie, Mo. There they were excellent hosts to family and friends who stopped by often. Franklin was a life-long Democrat, and he was a keen and curious observer of social and political changes during his long life.

He loved boating and especially enjoyed Elks outings in his pontoon boat on a 90-mile trip to Warsaw, Mo. He loved entertaining the larger Harris family for annual gatherings dubbed The Big H. He was happiest when family gathered on the patio and children were running around the dock and, jumping into the lake and going on jet ski rides. He was looking forward to the 2020 Big H gathering in July. Private graveside services were held on May 7. A celebration of Franklin’s life is planned, if circumstances permit, at 10 a.m., Friday, July 17, 2020, at the Kidwell-Garber Laurie/Sunrise Beach Chapel, 417 Silvey Road, in Laurie.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Ozarks Kat and K-9 Shelter, 17290 MO-5, Sunrise Beach, Mo., 65079, or the Ozark Chapel United Methodist Church, 305 N Main St, Gravois Mills, Mo., 65037. Expressions of sympathy may be left online at www.kidwellgarber.com. Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Kidwell-Garber Laurie/Sunrise Beach Chapel.