OBITUARY: Kyle Harris

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Kyle Harris

With extraordinarily great sorrow the family of Benjamin Kyle Harris, 33, born September 15, 1987, a resident of Columbia and son of Kerry and Leisa Harris, announces that he has departed this world on August 8, 2021. Kyle had a tragic accident while rock climbing and is no longer with us but is now in a perfect place.

Our hearts are forever broken and there are not enough words to describe the immensely bright light that was Kyle’s life, example, and influence here on earth. He was amazingly kind and loving. Compassionate. Generous. Selfless. Bold. Courageous. Intelligent. Handsome. Charming. A servant and fierce defender of God’s word. A brilliant man that blessed all our lives in ways that will continue always. If you knew Kyle, you would understand. He impacted everyone he met in a positive way. If you did not know Kyle, then we are sorry that you missed the boundless joy that was knowing and being with him.

Funeral services Mr. Harris will be conducted at Northview Church of Christ on Friday, August 13th at 2:00 p.m. with Bro. John Thomas officiating. Burial will follow in the Harris Family Cemetery 1933 Hwy. 166 N. Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee 38474. Visitation will be at Oakes and Nichols Funeral Home on Thursday, August 12th from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday before the service at the church. Condolences may be extended online at www.oakesandnichols.com.

Kyle was the minister at Berea Church of Christ. He also worked with his father at The Kerry Harris Team at Keller Williams Realty. However, Kyle’s true calling was mission work. He had extensive and profound knowledge of the Bible. As a young child, he would say that when he grew up, he was going to have a boat, be a marine biologist, and preach the gospel everywhere he went around the world. Although he didn’t have the boat, he did travel to many places around the world and carried the word of God with him always. When he was 23, he sat out on a four-month journey through the Middle East. He was discovering and exploring not only as a joyful experience for himself but also teaching and preaching along the way. He eventually made his way through Turkey and into the Republic of Georgia, where he found the mission work he wanted to dedicate his life to doing. Kyle made several trips there, along with other dedicated close Christian friends, laying the groundwork for spreading God’s word.

Kyle used the short time he had on earth well. He lived life to the fullest and had more experiences in his abbreviated life than the majority of people would have in ten lifetimes. Kyle was passionate about traveling and exploring. Traveling with Kyle meant you were going to have a remarkable trip and would see and do things that most travelers would not. He was always planning a trip somewhere. Among the countries he visited were Scotland, Mexico, Morocco, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Georgia, Turkey, and Thailand.

Kyle valued experiences over material things. He believed in self-evaluation, self-sustainment, and personal responsibility for your own actions. A conservative in most aspects of his life; Kyle was a critical thinker, a leader that was both impactive and effective. Kyle loved with his whole heart. He would always have the appropriate thing to say or do in a difficult situation, not turning away from hardships but purposefully striving to make things better.

To say Kyle loved nature and the outdoors is an understatement. It was part of him. He always wanted to be outside, especially in the fall and winter. He enjoyed hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, camping, scuba diving, and more. He had a way with animals that was remarkable. You could ask him any question about any animal and he would know the answer. He often photographed insects, plants, and animals, fascinated by God’s creation.

Kyle was an avid historian and studied history from many eras and from many angles. Often, he would explain current events through the lens of history. Not the “know the dates” kind of history, but the “here’s what actually happened” history. He delved deeply to find the truth and defend it if necessary.

Kyle was naturally talented at so many things. He played several musical instruments including piano, clarinet, and hammered dulcimer. He also had a beautiful singing voice and would often lead singing, encouraging everyone to sing out. He enjoyed cooking and especially making sauces which often included spices from his many travels.

Kyle was loved and adored by his family and friends. Family was so important to Kyle, a priority. His parents, brothers, nephew, and grandparents meant everything to him. He loved the holidays because it was a time for us all to gather. He always wanted us to all be together, encouraging us to get outside or to play games. Kyle absolutely loved playing games, board games in particular. He carried many of them in his vehicle and was always ready to play. He loved life and had a great sense of humor. He was blessed to have many, many friends that he also considered family.

It is so very hard for us to accept that he is gone from us. We have lost someone too precious for words. For some, it will seem easy to say that at least Kyle passed away doing what he loved. That would be accurate. But for his family and friends, we have selfish thoughts of missing Kyle’s loving presence all the rest of our lives. We know God knows best. So as Kyle leaves this incredible vacuum here, we trust that God will see us through and that we’ll all love each other more, trust God more, do more things together, and get outside and enjoy God’s creation.

If we were able, we would hold the service outside, as we feel that’s what Kyle would like best. Kyle’s family feels that dress attire for visitations and service should be casual. Please feel free to wear something you would wear on a beautiful day outdoors. Even your favorite t-shirt and shorts would be perfect.

Kyle was predeceased by his grandfather, Robert Ray “Bob” Harris, and his uncles Kirby Van Harris and Brian Wilson McCaleb. Kyle is survived by his parents, Kerry Lee Harris and Leisa Jane Harris; his brothers, Kerry Adam Harris (Galyna) and Jonah Nathaniel Harris; his grandparents, Cleopatra McCaleb, Ellis Wilson McCaleb, and Sylvia Ann Harris; his aunt, Cindy Ann Harris; his cousin, Tony Nascimento (Bri); his nephew, Andrei Alexander Harris, and his first cousin, once removed, Kolby Nascimento.

Pallbearers are Adam Harris, Nathan Harris, Eric Dial, Michael Fedders, Daniel Langley, and Drew Love. Honorary pallbearers are Lauren Jones, Kittia Broadus, Lauren Dial, Shannon Fedders, Jessica Diestelkamp, Callie Moses, Adrianna Eastep, and the members of the Berea Church of Christ.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a mission fund of your choice. Additionally, a GoFundMe account is being set up for anyone who might want to honor Kyle and his love of people and the outdoors. This will likely be done around the idea of building a public gathering shelter at a local park and possibly adding walking trails, maybe along the river. Details for that will be forthcoming.

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