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Thomas ‘Tom’ Harris

January 28, 2024 - 00:00
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  • Thomas ‘Tom’ Harris

In loving memory of Thomas Bradley Harris, born Feb. 15, 1943, and passed away Nov. 5, 2023.

Thomas Bradley Harris was born in Oklahoma City to Thomas and Virginia (Bradley) Harris.

He was preceded in death by his dad and mother, losing his dad at 11 months old and was raised in Norman on a farm by his maternal grandparents, George and Goldie Bradley, who also preceded him in death.

He had a much-loved older sister, Catherine, whom he saw as often as possible. She also preceded him in death.

Tom attended Norman schools and was noticed at his grade school playing football. Tom had no way of getting to practices, so his coach met with his grandparents and arranged his transportation and made it possible for his farm chores to be done.

After graduating in 1961, he was invited to visit Panhandle A&M where he earned a football scholarship and was president of the Student Senate.

It was there he met his forever girlfriend Kerry McKee. They were married on Aug. 5, 1967, in Oklahoma City.

Coach Harris began his coaching adventures at Texline, Texas, from 19661968.

An offer was accepted at Hooker, where he coached the Bulldogs from 19681970 and their son John Bradley was born.

A move up in class was offered in 1970 at Kingfisher, which put them closer to both families.

Son, Thomas Patrick, was born a Yellowjacket in July 1971.

Tom was District 1 Coach of the Year in 1973 and his track team won the state championship in 1974.

In July of 1973, his baby girl, Kara Kaye, arrived and his master’s degree was completed.

Ski trips and visits to our cabin in Angel Fire, N.M. with our family and friends were THE best - his favorite place to be.

Tom’s Sport Shop was opened and operated by Tom and Kerry in Kingfisher, which provided a change, but kept him calling on coaches in our area.

In 1985, a chance to coach again moved us to Plainview, Texas, and then in 1986, coaching and teaching at Midwest City, where he eventually was a high school principal, started its alternative school and watched his children grow up.

On a vacation, Tom looked at a job in Mesa, Ariz., which began in 1995.

Then 1998 found us in Guymon as high school principal for two years and then back at Mid-Del where he became Jarman Junior High principal.

Heart issues slowed him down and on his daily trips to our Edmond home, Tom stopped by Oakdale School and made himself available to Mr. Lanier.

Soon he became Oakdale’s first athletic director/ assistant principal, started the football program, helped with track and started many track meets. He was back where he started; right where he wanted to be.

In this part of his life, Tom spent much of his time loving and watching his grandchildren.

They provided so much fun and laughter which he cherished! John’s children, Ben, a QB1, Kori, our orchestra ace; Tommy’s girlworld, wife Jackie, a high school principal, daughters Mia, a teacher, Ryan at OU; and Kara and Jymm’s two, our Olivia Kate, born an actress, and Parker who kept his Poppa laughing. Chelsey joined the Tripp family in her fifth grade and went to Oakdale.

We are blessed. All of the Harris clan are educators - this has been our route and Tom, husband, coach, dad, Poppa and friend, could not have been more proud and will be forever in our hearts.

The family requests you to consider donations to the Tom Harris Memorial Scholarship Fund at F&M Bank at 601 S. Main, Kingfi sher, OK 73750 or Panhandle State Foundation, Goodwell, OK 73552.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at Oakdale School, 10901 N. Sooner Road, Edmond.