A Celebration of Life for Thomas P. Harris, 100, of Spring Hill, TN, will be Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 1:00 PM at Sykes Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 11:00 AM until the time of service on Saturday. Tom passed away peacefully on January 3, 2022 with his grandson lovingly by his side.
Tom was born on January 24, 1921 to Edgar and Rosa Harris in Rock Springs, TN. He was one of 11 children and grew up in Southside (Montgomery County). He graduated from Southside High School in 1939.
Drafted by the Army in 1941, he courageously served our country until 1945, and was among the first brave soldiers to set foot on the beach of Normandy on D-Day. An expert rifleman, machine gunner, and sharpshooter, Technical Sergeant Harris received stars for battles fought in Sicily, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany during WWII. His heroic actions in Germany earned him a bronze star for securing the safety of his men and completing a perilous mission alone. In 2012, Tom received the Legion of Honor, the highest medal of honor from the French government for his service at Normandy.
After his service in the Army, he met and married the love of his life, Nell Cherry. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from UT Knoxville and a Master’s degree from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College in Nashville, and spent decades as a teacher. Tom taught Horticulture at Bethesda School, Page High School, and Yates Vocational School, all in Williamson County.
Tom and Nell were blessed to share 75 wonderful years together. They had one child, Cherry Shetler, one grandson, Shane Shetler, two great-grandsons, Peyton Shetler and Jared Shetler, and one precious great, great-grandson, Shiloh Shetler, whom he nicknamed Jumpin’ Jack.
Even in retirement, Tom was very active. He and Nell loved playing cards and traveling with friends. He was an avid gardener and an amazing cook. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed playing pranks. Tom was almost always heard whistling a tune while going about his day.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents Edgar and Rosa, his loving wife, Nell, and several siblings.
He is survived by his daughter Cherry Shetler, of Spring Hill, TN, grandson Shane Shetler (Stephanie) of Spring Hill, TN; great-grandsons Peyton Shetler (Steph) and Jared Shetler, both of Spring Hill, TN and great, great-grandson Shiloh Shetler. Tom also leaves behind a sister Josephine Sanford, of Clarksville, TN, brother Harold Harris of Clarksville, TN, and several nieces and nephews. He will forever be in their hearts.
Please visit Tom’s guestbook at www.sykesfuneralhome.com and share a memory with the family.