Master Chief Petty Officer Ret. Wilbur C. Harris, 78, of Columbus, formerly of Powell, TN, passed away Wednesday, September 7, 2022, at home surrounded by his family. Wilbur was born September 14, 1943, son of the late William Jamie and Mattie Cook Harris. He grew up on the coasts of North Carolina and Florida, enjoyed life on the water, and was an avid fisherman. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1962 and served honorably for 26 years. He qualified for the Naval Submarine Force, serving on board fleet ballistic submarines and culminating with two tours as Command Master Chief of the Navy’s Nuclear Power School. His career was marked by his integrity, character, witness, and ability to mentor young sailors. After his Naval retirement, Wilbur worked for Oak Ridge National Laboratories as a Radiation Control Safety Officer. Wilbur had a passion for music and a beautiful voice. He sang tenor in the chapel choirs and for his church choir. Known for his joyous countenance during praise and worship, Wilbur was a choir favorite. Yet nothing brought him more joy than spending time with his beloved wife, children, and grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, Wilbur was preceded in death by one sister, Jamie Quincey.
Survivors include his loving wife of 52 years, Sylvia Harris; three children, Todd Haley and his wife, Michelle, Christopher Haley and his wife, Tracy, and Nicole Mayne and her husband, Tony; six grandchildren, Christopher Haley, Kathryn Hall, Parker Haley, Alexa Haley, Luke Mayne, and Caroline Mayne; numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 24, 2022, at Powell First Baptist Church in Powell, Tenn. Interment will follow in Woodhaven Cemetery. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 12:00 PM until 2:00 PM at the church. Holley Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton is in charge of all arrangements. holleygamble.com