Ronald Vernon Harris

September 28, 1934August 24, 2018

Ronald Vernon Harris, 83, of Peoria Heights, Illinois, died on August 24, 2018 at Unity Point Methodist Medical Center. Ron was born on September 28, 1934 in Edwardsville, Il, the only child of Vernon and Viola Gansmann Harris.

Ron began his long association with Bradley University when he came to Peoria for college in 1952. On the Hilltop, Ron ran track and cross country for four years and was on the freshman basketball team. He was a member of the Delta Rho Chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity at Bradley.

After graduating from Bradley in 1956, Ron served in the Army. Upon discharge, he returned to his home town and started his basketball coaching career at Edwardsville High School. Ron also coached at Canton Junior College (now Spoon River College) before coming back to Bradley, where he coached the freshman team from 1965-1972 and also served as a varsity assistant to head coach Joe Stowell.

Ron was the head basketball coach at Samford University for three years. He also coached pro ball in Sweden. Ron returned to Peoria in 1976 and started Design Furniture & Systems of Illinois.

Ron was a loyal Bradley Brave. He was a member of the University’s Central Illinois Alumni Chapter, the Braves Club, and the Alumni B-Club Board. In 1977, he was elected to the Bradley Hall of Fame. He served as president of Bradley’s National Alumni Association. In 2009, Ron received the Orville Nothdurft Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented annually to a former Bradley student-athlete who has achieved success in their chosen profession and has continued to bring honor to oneself, Bradley athletics, and the University as a whole.

Cremation will be accorded and a Celebration of life will be held Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 9 am at Sigma Chi House, 1408 Fredonia, Peoria, IL 61606. Davison-Fulton Woodland Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Memorials to help with funeral expenses may be made to the Delta Rho Chapter of Sigma Chi and mailed in care of House Corp President, Joseph Frueh, 222 Hibbard Rd., Wilmette, IL 60091


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Ronald Vernon Harris

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