Guy Harris, childhood friend of Elvis Presley and longtime supporter and subscriber to The Lee County Courier, passed away Tuesday, April 7.
Harris, 81, passed away peacefully at the home of his daughter in Saltillo.
Guy was always funny when he stirred up memories of growing up with the king, “People ask me, ‘What did you and Elvis do when you were little?’ Well, hell, nothing. We didn’t have much of nothing to do anything with.”
Elvis, as he was growing up in Tupelo, was sheltered, shy and used to have to be coaxed to sing — that’s how Guy remembered him.
“My mother Faye was there when the twins were born,” Harris said, showing the closeness between the two families, in an earlier interview. Elvis had a twin brother, Jesse Garon, who was stillborn before Elvis Aaron entered the world on Jan. 8, 1935. “My mother was good friends with Gladys, Elvis' mom. Because Jesse was stillborn and she couldn't have no more babies after that, Gladys was real protective of Elvis.”
The two boys kept that friendship into adulthood. Elvis would usually call Guy anytime he was going to be in Tupelo, and Guy went to visit Elvis in Memphis too.
“That was the last time I saw him. It was 1970, when he came back to Tupelo on Dec. 29. He and Priscilla, and a couple of guys who worked with him, were in town. The guy I worked with on the police department named Bill Mitchell, who got elected sheriff, made Elvis an honorary deputy sheriff of Lee County. After we got all that done, he and I and Priscilla came out and visited right in here later on that night, you know, just as it was getting dark.”
Harris — a lifelong resident of Lee County, he was born June 16, 1938 in Tupelo, the son of C.V. and Fay Adams Harris. Guy served his country in the Mississippi Army National Guard and Reserves for 13 years. A 20 year police officer, he retired from the Tupelo Police Department, achieving the rank of Captain. He then worked as a salesman for Tupelo Auto Sales for 17 years.
Guy obviously loved his community and served with devotion on the Board of Directors for Tombigbee Electric Power Association for 29 years until his death. He was a faithful member of Saltillo First United Methodist Church where he enjoyed hearing Bro. Tim Green’s sermons.
Guy was an avid sports fan and especially enjoyed his daughter’s softball career, coaching men’s softball, and watching the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys. Guy also enjoyed sharing lunch with his many friends and appreciated a good meal.
Guy leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Elaine Harris; his daughter, Jacque H. Witcher and her husband, Ricky, of Saltillo; three grandchildren, Ashlyn Swain Stevens and her husband, Mark, of Guntown, Zach J. Swain of Saltillo, and Zack Witcher and his wife, Denise, of Southaven; 4 great-grandchildren, Rowan Jackson Stevens, Ridge Thomas Stevens, Madison Miller, and Presley Witcher; his brother Don Harris and his wife, Wanda, of Dickson, Tenn.; and several nieces and nephews.
Guy’s family would like to thank his home health and hospice caregivers who he loved like family: Jessica King, Tina Bell, Allison Miller, Laura Galloway, and Lynn Sanderson. He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Gregory Thomas Harris; and a brother, C.V. “Junior” Harris.
Due to the recent health crisis, a private family service will be held on today, Thursday, April 9, at the Oak Hill Cemetery with Rev. Tim Green officiating. Friends and family unable to attend due to current restrictions are encouraged to leave expressions of sympathy at www.peguesfuneralhome.com.
A memorial celebration fitting of Guy’s remarkable life will be held as soon as possible and will be announced at that time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saltillo First United Methodist Church or North Mississippi Medical Center Home Hospice.
Publisher’s note: Back in the fall of 2019, Guy had invited me to his home in Saltillo to share some never before seen photos of the Presley family. He gave me permission to run them in The Courier, however he didn’t want his name mentioned. I honored that request. It was a good visit. I’d carried another good friend, Bob Kenney with me and it’s a memory we’ll always remember and cherish. — Sincerely, Jim