Murrysville golf expert was successful off course, too
Ron Harris loved the rules of golf as much as he loved playing the game.
For him, golf’s rules and etiquette give it a special place among sports, so he spent much of his adult life teaching those rules to others.
“I just think he loved every single bit of the game. He just loved being involved in the game,” said his son, Nevin Harris.
Introduced to golf as a child, Mr. Norris never let his professional career or military service get in the way of playing. He was a board member and tournament official with the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association, or WPGA, and excelled at the game. He shot his age or better twice — earning a score of 72 at age 74 and a score of 75 at age 75.
Mr. Ronald D. Harris of Murrysville, formerly of Penn Hills, died Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, following a recent diagnosis of cancer. He was 80.
Born in Pittsburgh on Oct. 23, 1937, he was the son of Nevin W. and Sara Harris. He graduated from Carrick High School in 1956 and was named a distinguished alumnus in 2011. He earned a business degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1960.
Active in the Army ROTC, he had to choose between a career in the military and in business. “Then he got out and got a job,” his son said. “He felt like he would be able to provide better for his family.”
Mr. Harris was hired by the Westinghouse Electric Corp. and worked at its Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory. At the time of his retirement, he was the director of resources for the Commercial Nuclear Business Group, his son said.
Mr. Harris also served as an officer in the 99th Army Reserve Command, 23rd AG Detachment (Postal), retiring as a major after 20 years of service. His unit had the longest record of consecutive superior unit awards in the history of the 99th Army Reserve Command.
But his first love was golf. In addition to playing the game several times a week, he was a well-known rules official with the WPGA and the U.S. Golf Association. He officiated at many qualifiers over the years, his son said.
He attended several USGA golf schools and scored high enough to qualify for advanced classes. He also enjoyed teaching young people, and anyone who asked, about the game.
“He absolutely loved working with the kids, officiating the kids and watching them come up through the ranks,” Nevin Harris said.
Golf pros in the area were known to call him on weekends for an expert opinion on a particular rule. He didn’t mind.
“He would light up. He lived for that stuff,” Harris said.
Mr. Harris is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary Margaret Harris; two children, Mary Beth Tedrick and her husband, C.J., and Nevin Harris; and three grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at
10 a.m. Friday in Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church, 4600 Old William Penn Highway, Murrysville. Entombment will be in Homewood Cemetery, 1599 S. Dallas Ave., Squirrel Hill.