Welford Harris passes away at 88

Pittsboro, NC – Welford Dalton Harris, 88, of Pittsboro went to be with his lord and savior on Friday June 3, 2022. He went peacefully surrounded by his family.

Welford was born on August 22nd, 1933, the son of Paul Dalton and Mallie Straughn Harris. Welford was a native of Chatham County, where he grew up on his family farm raising cattle and hunting dogs, and sometimes hunting rabbits to sell at the train depot on his way to school. He quickly embraced the principles of hard work and found a knack for turning a nickel into a quarter. 

After attending Bonlee High School, Welford enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in Natick, Massachusetts. There, he met Patricia Moore on one of many intentional trips to the water fountain across from her desk. She quickly became the love of his life and soon his wife of 67 years. At the insistence of his new wife, Welford became a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan.

After moving back to North Carolina in 1955, Welford’s love for motor vehicles came to life as he went into the car business and eventually started Welford Harris, Inc. in 1964. The business remains a central part of the Chatham County community to this day.  Welford was active in his community where he was a member of the Goldston United Methodist Church for over 50 years, serving on numerous committees. He was also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Pittsboro, involved with Central Carolina Community College, and a member of the Inaugural Advisory Committee for the Chatham County Small Business Center. 

Welford cherished his time with his family and friends. He was an avid fan of Duke Basketball and loved cheering on the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Later in life, he was often seen driving the streets of downtown Pittsboro on his golf cart with his dog Jackson and sometimes 2 or 3 of his chickens in tow. Welford lived the American Dream and leaves behind family and friends who are grateful to have been a part of his life. 

Welford is preceded in death by his parents, Mallie Straughn and Paul Dalton Harris; sisters, Linda Humphrey, Nancy Laird, Betty Lambert, and Mildred Sheffield; and brothers Herbert Harris and L. Reid Harris. 

Welford is survived by his wife, Patricia Moore Harris of the home; daughter, Deborah Harris Bondurant of Pittsboro; son Welford David Harris and wife Valerie of Siler City; grandchildren, Welford Dalton Harris, II and wife Julia of Houston, TX, Alexandra Grace Evans and husband Bailey of Hampstead, NC, and Avery Elizabeth Harris of Siler City; 2 great grandchildren, Welford Dalton “Ford” Harris, III and Robert Bailey Evans, V; brother Wayne Harris and wife Pat of Pittsboro; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who felt like family, including lifelong friends Lucille and LaVerne Thornton. 

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 from 1 to 3 PM at Goldston United Methodist Church, 185 Hillcrest Ave., Goldston, NC, 27252 prior to the funeral service at 3 PM with Rev. Lucas Nelson officiating. Burial will follow at Meroney United Methodist Cemetery, 10568 NC Hwy 902, Bear Creek,  NC.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Goldston United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 99, Goldston, NC 27252 or to Meroney United Methodist Church, 10568 NC Hwy 902, Bear Creek, NC 27207

Smith & Buckner Funeral Home is assisting the Harris family.

Online condolences may be made at smithbucknerfh.com