Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., is a family-owned business that was established about 1905 by Alva Clinton Harris. The original name of the establishment was Harris Funeral Parlors. Harris was a pioneer funeral director initially operating the funeral home from his furniture store. He served as president of the State Board of Embalmers and was also president of the Arkansas Funeral Directors’ Association. He was a graduate of the American School of Embalming at St. Louis and the thirty-first embalmer to be licensed in Arkansas. Alva retired, and passed away December 25, 1951 in Morrilton.
Robert “Bob” Harris Sr. was a graduate of the Cincinnati College of Embalming in 1941 with Arkansas license #642 and joined the family business about 1940. Bob purchased the Reid Funeral Home in Morrilton in 1947, later renaming it Harris Funeral Home. Like his father, he also served in various organizations in the funeral profession. He was 1958 president of the Arkansas Funeral Directors Association and in 1959 was honored as “Funeral Director of the Year”. He was a founder and served as secretary-treasurer of Selected Funeral and Life Insurance Company, Selected Holding Company, and Selected Financial Services Corporation in Hot Springs. Bob also served as Conway County Coroner for 36 years and was active in the firm till his death February 2, 1998 at the age of 79.
Bob’s wife, Golda Matthews Harris, was also an integral part of the family business. She held Arkansas license #231 as a funeral director. Together they built their business on a philosophy first modeled by Alva Harris. This philosophy includes a commitment to exceptional and compassionate personal service for all families. Mrs. Harris was also active in the firm till her death on January 30, 2005.
Bob and Golda’s son, Robert "Rob" Harris, Jr., graduated from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science in Dallas, Texas in 1971, joined the business in 1971 and received his Arkansas license #1418 in July 2, 1972. He, like his grandfather and father, served as past president of Arkansas Club of Burial Association in 1981, past president of Arkansas Funeral Directors in 1987, past state board member of Burial Associations active in the National Funeral Directors Association. He is now running the daily operations of the firm.