Adventurous, spirited, mischievously playful, and a bit of a daredevil, Bill Harris was an all-season outdoorsman, as along as he was riding something with a loud, high-powered engine. Bill was in his element when in a boat, on snowmobiles, 4-wheelers, or jet skis. His neighbors on Flathead Lake will long remember the roar of Bill’s bright yellow river boat racing in and out of White Swan Bay, pulling 360-degree turns at speed, and swamping sunbathers on the dock.
Bill worked as hard as he played, first working at and later owning the Gulf Station at 5th Street and Higgins Avenue. Subsequently, he drove log trucks for many years as an independent contractor. Bill was known for his skill and professionalism as a driver in all kinds of weather and terrains. He was a role model and mentor for younger drivers.
Born Arthur William Harris on July 14, 1943 to Dr. William E. and Elsie Harris, he attended Missoula County High School where he played coronet in the concert and marching bands. He also played along side his father in the Missoula City Band. During his high school years, Bill raced C-service hydroplanes and runabouts, routinely beating out competitors decades older and more experienced. After high school, he attended the University of Montana and later enlisted in the United States Army where he served during the early years of the Vietnam War. While stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he met his future wife, Linda K. Wiegner.
After a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease, Bill died peacefully at home on August 30, 2021. He is survived by his wife Linda K. Harris, a loyal and intrepid companion of 56 years: his sister Jean Marie Orvis (John) and niece, Lauren Nicole Orvis; his close friends and caregivers Bobbi and Bob Hereford; several cousins; and many good, lifelong friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held on September 11, 2021, at Garden City Funeral Home, 1705 West Broadway, Missoula, MT. Private internment with military honors at the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery will follow at a later date.