Obituary: William (Bill) Harris
November 5, 1943 – March 16, 2022
William (Bill) Harris, age 78, of Steamboat Springs, CO and Beulah, MI, passed away on March 16, 2022, in Meeker, CO, surrounded by his family. Bill was born on the farm on Harris Rd. on November 5, 1943 to Sam and Alice Harris. He was the last graduating class to graduate from Benzonia High School in 1963. While in school he played basketball and football and learned to hunt at a very young age.
He became a licensed builder and built many of the homes in Benzie County and around Crystal Lake. At the age of 20 he taught himself to snowski at the little hill at Chimney Corners and after 3 days he became a ski instructor at Crystal Mountain. He also worked as a ski patroller and was a coach for the Frankfort High School race team. He taught himself to waterski and after work would take many vacationers waterskiing at Chimney Corners Resort where he met his wife Laurie Vogt. Water skiing and snow skiing became his passion in life. In 1983 Bill and Laurie moved to CO because of their love for skiing.
In 1984 they were married and in 1986 they moved to Steamboat Springs where he worked as an instructor for 33 years. Bill built their house in Steamboat where they raised their two children Alison Harris and Neil Harris. He also has two sons from a previous marriage (William Troy/Donna) of Cocoa Beach, FL and John/Melissa of Melbourne, FL.
Bill and his family spent their winter months in Steamboat Springs but always came back to Crystal Lake in MI every summer. Bill worked and spent most weekends competing in waterski tournaments around the state. He was a very competitive skier as his many trophy’s would attest to.
In the winter when Bill wasn’t ski instructing you could find him running gates at the Nastar course. He competed in several Nastar National Championships where he also brought home several medals. He also played on an adult league basketball team.
He enjoyed the falls in Steamboat for the hunting and always brought home a cow or bull elk.
Bill will be missed by his family and the many friends he made along the way. He always had a good joke or story to tell.
Bill is survived by his wife Laurie of 37 years, his children Alison, Neil, Troy, John, two sisters Edith and Connie and many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents Sam and Alice Harris and sister Sharron Abbott.
In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or Pioneers Medical/Walbridge Wing,
The family would like to thank the exceptional staff at Walbridge Nursing home in Meeker, CO for their excellent care of Bill.
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