Emmet Ross Harris, affectionately known as “Big Daddy” by his grandchildren, passed away on October 10, 2021. He was born on July 19, 1946, in Three Rivers, to the late Emmet Stroman Harris and Thelma Ross Harris.
Ross lived a life full of laughter and love of God and his family. He is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Novia Kinsel Harris of George West, his sister, Karen Harris Elliff and husband Gerald Osborne Elliff II, his aunt Mary Yvonne Ross, and his daughter Lee Farrell Harris Saunders and husband Stuart Donovan Saunders and their four children, Lee Marcella Saunders, Laura Catherine Saunders, Harris Donovan Saunders, and Ross Fredric Saunders of Houston.
Ross graduated from George West High School in 1964, attended Schreiner University (formerly Schreiner Institute) and graduated from Texas A&M Kingsville (formerly Texas A&I University). After graduation, Ross joined Harris, Havins and Company as a certified public accountant in Sinton, working for his uncle, Morris Ray Harris. In 1979, he moved his family to George West to begin his banking career.Ross spent the next 42 years serving First National Bank (now known as South Trust Bank) in various roles including president and chairman.
In 2010 Ross was diagnosed with liver cancer. After exhausting other treatment options, he received a liver transplant in 2012. Ross was fortunate to receive this gift of life from an unknown organ donor which enabled him to live nine more years.
Ross was an avid reader, storyteller and a devoted San Antonio Spurs fan. His knowledge of south Texas history led him to serve as Chairman of the Live Oak Historical Commission where he was able to work placing State of Texas historical markers in Live Oak County. Ross was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in George West where he served as Chairman of the Administrative Council. Ross also served as a Trustee for Schreiner University.
A celebration of Ross’ life was held on Saturday, October 16 at 2 p.m. at The First United Methodist Church in George West. A private graveside service was held for immediate family prior to the memorial service. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ross’ memory can be made to First United Methodist Church, 501 Crockett Street, George West, Texas 78022, or to the charity of your choice.