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Leon Harris

Gilbert Leon Harris, age 77, of Ava, Mo., passed away early Thursday morning, Feb. 16, 2017.

He was born Sept. 11, 1939, in Bevier, Mo., the son of John and Vester (Riley) Harris. On March 28, 2009, Leon was united in marriage to Ila (Snyder) Harris after the death of his first wife, Lurene (Turley) Harris, in 2008.

Leon was a longtime resident of Douglas County and well-known for his community minded service. For a combination of 14 years, Leon performed various duties and dedicated countless hours to daily connections with friends, customers and coworkers while serving as Ava Mayor and City Alderman.

Leon also owned and operated a heavy equipment construction company while living in Kansas City and continued the business after moving to Ava in 1972. Leon loved and enjoyed his large family and they will forever treasure his wonderful memory.

Leon is survived by his caring wife Ila; seven children: Drevis Burke and husband David, Jerry Pitts and wife Debbie, Terry Pitts and wife Becky, Daryla Richards, Donnie Harris and wife April, Dale Harris and Darrell Harris; five step-children: Rick Snyder and wife Penny, Bill Snyder, Sharla Brown and husband Roy, Ang Thomas and husband Ron, Andrea Kirk and husband Mike; a brother Chester Harris; and sister Dora Marie Johnson; 26 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; and numerous other caring relatives.

In addition to his first wife, Leon was preceded in death by his parents; son Larry Pitts; and daughter Debra Harris.

Funeral services for Leon were at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in Ava General Baptist Church under the direction of Barnes Family Funeral Home, Ozark. Burial followed in Mt. Tabor Cemetery. Visitation was 1 p.m. until service time in the church.

Donations are suggested to Mt. Tabor Cemetery or Ava General Baptist Church.

Online condolences may be shared at www.barnesfamily