Raymond Dean “Ray” Harris, 71, of Spartanburg, SC died Tuesday, April 19, 2022, after a long illness at home in the care of Spartanburg Regional Hospice. He was born in Spirit Lake, Iowa on July 16, 1950, to the late E.W. and Dorothy P. Harris.
After graduating from high school, where he was a standout athlete in basketball and football, he began his career in construction. First working for his father and then himself where he owned and operated Harris Construction for over 50 years. He built and remodeled houses and became a master cabinet maker and furniture builder.
He joined Bud Moore Engineering in the late 1970’s as a parttime crew member. In 1981, he became a fulltime pit crew member and was the tire specialist and rear tire changer. He was named to the Copenhagen Skoal All Pro Team in 1993. This pit crew was known as the “Over the Hill Over the Wall Gang.” One young pit crew rear tire changer once asked Ray “how did they train to do their job?” and Ray responded, “500 miles every Sunday.” That was at the time that most pit crews had personal trainers and training programs. Some of his favorite drivers that he worked for were Benny Parsons, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Allison, and Ricky Rudd. After retiring from racing in 1996, he and Bud Moore stayed close and were always seen around town and on Bud’s farm.
Ray retired from racing to watch his sons play sports for Broome High School on the Varsity Baseball and Football teams. He had previously coached them for years in baseball and basketball.
Ray is survived by his wife of 49 years, Deborah Hight Harris, his sons, Richard Dean Harris and Justin Ryan Harris (Jennifer), his only grandchild, Addison Claire Harris, his step granddaughter, Baylee Patty, all of Spartanburg, and his siblings, Kevin Woodrow (Woody) Harris, Ruth Etta Bagwell (Frankie) of Spartanburg, SC, and Katherine Anne Wright (Michael) and Keva Glee Zoglio of Inman, SC.
Visitation will be held at from 12:15 pm to 1:45 pm, Monday, May 2, 2022 at Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel, 2075 East Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29307. A memorial service will follow at 2:00 pm.
No flowers please, memorials may be made to the Spartanburg Humane Society, 150 Dexter Road, Spartanburg, SC 29303 or online at www.spartanburghumane.org or another Humane Center of your choice.
Floyd’s North Church Street Chapel