Joseph James Harris, 88, of Pinch, passed away on Tuesday, May 29, 2019, at CAMC Memorial Hospital, Charleston.
He was a graduate of Flemington High School and the University of Hard Knocks. He worked several jobs to start, one of the first at Land Crist Box Company. He eventually landed a job as a teller at Lowndes Bank. That began a long and prosperous career in banking. He was the President of Guaranty Bank in Charleston and retired as Executive Vice President of American Bankshares.
He retired from banking and began enjoying his favorite hobby, blacksmithing. He even presented and sold items at Tamarack in Beckley. He was President of The Appalachian Blacksmith's Association, which is a regional organization, and President of the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America, which is a national organization.
He served in the Clarksburg Unit of the WV Army National Guard for just over 25 years. He was called to Active Duty during the Berlin Crisis. He retired with the rank of First Sergeant E8.
He was married to the love of his life, Helen Maxine Harris. They were married just two months short of 65 years and together they had four boys. They enjoyed hosting events such as ramp dinners and blacksmith hammer-ins.
He was preceded in death by his dear wife, Helen; his brothers, Charlie and Finley; and his sister, Leota. He is survived by his brother, Bill and wife Ruth of Wildwood, FL; son, Michael and wife Kim of Henrico, NC; son, Douglas and girlfriend Lisa Plummer of Teays Valley, WV; son, Chester and wife Sharon of Front Royal, VA; son, Jeffrey and wife Stefanie of Charleston, WV; grandchildren, Matthew, Ashley, Samantha, Tony, Amanda, Samantha, Michael, and Jessica; great grandchildren, Allie, Finn, Katelyn, Liam, Celeste, and Enzo; and long time friend Chick Payton of Stonewood, WV.
A service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at Hafer Funeral Home. Burial will follow the service in Elk Hills Memorial Park, Big Chimney, with military rites being conducted by American Legion Post 61.
Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 31, at the funeral home.
Online condolences may be viewed at www.haferfuneralhome.net
Arrangements are in the care of Hafer Funeral Home, 50 North Pinch Road, Elkview, WV.