Dr. Richard Jay Harris
July 11, 1930 – April 6, 2018
Dr. Richard Jay Harris passed away on Friday, April 6th, 2018, at the age of 87. He was a life-long resident of El Paso, Texas, graduating from Dudley Elementary School and El Paso High School. Dr. Harris was the first member of his family to graduate from college, Vanderbilt University in 1951, where he met his future wife, Toni Davidson. He obtained his medical degree from University of Texas, Galveston Medical Branch in 1955.
Dr. Harris was commissioned as Captain in the United States Army where he completed his surgical residency. He served as Commander Officer of the 225th Station Hospital in Muenchweiler, Germany, retiring from the military with the rank of Major. Among his many accomplishments in the military was serving as a surgeon on the recovery team, Project Mercury, NASA.
Upon retirement from the military, he returned to El Paso, Texas, to continue his medical career. Dr. Harris was the most respected general surgeon in the city, with a caring and compassionate bedside manner. He practiced with Gary Schabacker, M.D. for over twenty-two years. Dr. Harris was Chief of the Department of Surgery at both Thomason and Providence Hospitals and was the founding Chief of Staff at Sierra Medical Center. He retired from his active practice of surgery in 1994.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sonya (Toni) Harris, his brother Robert Harris (Elizabeth), daughter Beverly Given (Rick) and son Brent Harris. He had 5 grandchildren, Amy Kelley, Leah White (Don), Bess Grant (Nate), Jacob Harris and Megan Harris. He also had 4 great-grandchildren, Isabella and Kelsey Singleton and Benjamin and Charlie Kay Grant. He was a loving husband, brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and will be missed by all.
- Sonya (Toni) Harris, Wife
- Robert Harris, Brother
- Beverly Given, Daughter
- Brent Harris, Son
- Amy Kelley, Granddaughter
- Leah White, Granddaughter
- Bess Grant, Granddaughter
- Jacob Harris, Grandson
- Megan Harris, Granddaughter
- Isabella Singleton, Great Granddaughter
- Kelsey Singleton, Great Granddaughter
- Benjamin Grant, Great Grandson
- Charlie Kay Grant, Great Granddaughter
- Jewish Graveside Service Sunday, April 8, 2018
Dr. Richard Jay Harris
Arlene Salazar Contreras
May 14, 2018
I worked with Dr. Harris and Dr. Schabacker at Sierra Medical Center. I respected and admired them both - They were the best surgeons in El Paso. They loved and cared for their patients and always treated their patients with dignity and respect. They both became my friends and I will miss both of them with my whole heart. God has a special place for both of them - till we meet again. Toni and PJ , family and friends I am so sorry for your loss
April 8, 2018
I knew Dr. Harris for many years working with him at Providence Memorial Hospital. He was an outstanding surgeon and was always very kind to his patients and their families. He was very nice to work with. I pray that God will comfort and give peace to his family in this very sad time.
April 7, 2018
In December of 1977 Dr. Harris saved my life!
El Paso, Tx.