David Ira Harris


December 13, 2023

David Ira Harris was born July 15, 1942 in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. He was the oldest of 3 born to Jimmy and Jessie Harris. His siblings are Donna Weeden (Harry), and Dixie Knutson (Pete). Dave grew up on the Harris Family ranch near Ridge Montana. The distance was too great for a daily drive when he reached the age of high school, so off to Belle Fourche he went where he stayed with a widower friend of his mother's and her son Harvey. To say that Dave was a prankster was an understatement and he loved to share stories and laugh about his adventures with Harvey. We still are not sure of the reasons, but Dave's mom thought it a good idea for Dave to attend a "Christian High School" in South Dakota where that stint only lasted for half a year. It's rumored that he caused a bit of mischief while there. During high school, Dave started playing for country dances. His piano ability spread to the point that old fiddlers in the area wanted to play music with him. He learned old country songs and while playing music was a passion - so was dancing.

After he graduated from high school, he worked for some neighbors in the Ridge country (where he furthered his skills as a prankster) while building his own herd of sheep. Dave became a pilot around the age of 21 being instructed and taught by his life-long friend and neighbor Francis Hayes. Bachelorhood was filled with ranching and flying and seemed easy for Dave until the flashy Joanne Wead came along. It only took 6 full years for Dave to convince Joanne to marry him, and they were married in 1968. As the years went on they had 4 children, leased land, ranched and farmed.

In 1986, they bought the Big Sheep Mountain Ranch north of Terry, Montana. In 1997, they sold that ranch and moved to Circle, Montana where they started Harris Spraying, Inc. In 2002 Dave was voted in as the "Common Sense" Sheriff of McCone County. He protected and served as Sheriff for 19 years.

Dave's cooking skills included eggs, steak, and taters. Otherwise, he would eat just about anything that someone else would fix for him. He was also quoted saying, "Any landing that you can walk away from, is a good landing." Not everyone got to see it, but Dave had a sarcastic, dry sense of humor. He loved listening and playing country music. He played the tuba, lead and rhythm guitar, and the piano. There was a time when he learned the fiddle and all the cats left the ranch. He tried, but according to Joanne, "He never really mastered it." His children agreed.

Dave was a rancher, a farmer, a pilot, and a sheriff. When asked what his favorite thing was about being sheriff, he said it was "helping" people - pulling them out of the ditch when stuck or being there when families were dealing with tragedy or heartache. It's a true reflection of who he was. The only time the family saw a temper in him was when a cow wouldn't let her calf nurse. He wasn't really big on "special days" like birthdays or anniversaries, but he would just pick ANY day and make it special.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents Jimmy and Jessie Harris and his son Devin. Dave and Joanne had four children; Devin Harris (deceased July 15,1992); Brent Harris (Gaby) of Lake George, CO; Bill Harris (Renee) of Circle, MT; and Julianne Harris of Colorado Springs, CO. Dave has 7 grandchildren who love him dearly. Dave is loved by many and will be missed. He loved Jesus, and he desired to give everyone the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

A funeral service will be held on Monday, December 11, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Break Forth Bible Church in Glendive, Montana. A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 1:00 PM at Ridge Cemetery in Ridge, Montana. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting http://www.stevensonandsons.com


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