“The long goodbye” is over.
Robert L. Harris, Jr. (Bob), 76, of Greensboro, has now joined the heavenly branch of the long gray line. He passed away on November 28, 2021 from complications due to frontal-temporal dementia. He was born in Wheeling, West Virginia and was raised in Wellsburg, West Virginia. Bob was the son of the late Robert and Wilma Harris. He was a 1963 graduate of Wellsburg High School and a 1967 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point. Bob had graduate degrees in chemistry from Georgia Tech (1974) and an MBA from Boston University (1984).
Bob spent 11 years on active duty in the Army in Armor Branch, serving tours in Germany, 2 tours in Viet Nam, the first tour with the 11th Cav Blackhorse Division and the second tour as an advisor to ARVN. For his service, Bob was awarded 2 Purple Hearts, 2 bronze stars, a silver star and 2 air medals. His last active-duty tour was on the faculty at West Point as an associate professor of chemistry for 3 years and associate professor of engineering for 1 year. Extracurricularly, Bob was the faculty advisor to the Dialectic Society, which put on rock concerts for the cadets. He resigned from activity duty in 1978, but spent 10 years in an inactive reserve position as a liaison officer for the West Point admissions office. He retired as a Lt. Colonel.
Bob’s post Army career was in the photographic industry, first with Polaroid Corporation in various managerial positions. In 1991, he joined Konica Mfg. in Whitset, NC as senior VP for manufacturing. In May, 1993, Bob was named President and COO, the only non-Japanese in Konica Corporation to head a major manufacturing facility. In June, 2007 Konica Minolta closed down their photo industry world-wide and Bob negotiated the sale of the Whitsett facility to Zink Imaging. Bob remained with Zink as senior VP of manufacturing until his retirement in April 2012.
Locally, Bob served on advisory boards of the business schools of Wake Forest University and UNC Greensboro, GTCC, board of visitors at Guilford and Greensboro Colleges, boards of United Way and Chamber of Commerce. He also was a longtime member of the Greensboro Symphony board, serving as chair 2010-2012. Bob believed in giving the gift of life by regularly donating blood or plasma. An avid golfer, Bob had 3 hole-in-ones over the years.
Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Sherry (Holden), with whom he had a close and loving relationship. Other survivors are sisters Jayne Krager (Jim) and Susan Gladora (Dennis), brother Rev. John Harris, sister-in-law Kathy Holden Dye (David), brother-in-law Jeff Holden (Kathi), 7 nieces and nephews, 7 great nieces and nephews and 3 godchildren.
If so desired, contributions can be made to the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, 200 N. Davie St, Box 10, Greensboro, NC 27401; the American Red Cross Carolina Region, PO Box 14710, Greensboro, NC 27415; donating a pint of blood; or to an organization or charity of your choice.
The family extends a very special thanks to the staff of The Arboretum at Heritage Green, especially the staff of Dogwood Neighborhood, for the loving care they gave Bob for almost 2 years and to AuthoraCare (Hospice) who made his last days comfortable. DUTY HONOR COUNTRY. Requiesce in Pace.
Services are entrusted to Triad Cremation & Funeral Service located in Greensboro, NC.
Services will be private.
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