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Long-time Union Coach, PIAA Official John Harris Passes Away

RIMERSBURG, Pa. – John Harris, a longtime volleyball coach and assistant football and track and field coach at Union High School, who also spent over a quarter of a century as a PIAA official in District 9 passed away Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Clarion Hospital.

Harris, a 1951 Franklin High School graduate, taught for 32 years at Union High School (1958-1992) and was the head volleyball coach for the Golden Damsels for 13 years, an assistant football coach for 12 years, and an assistant track and field coach for 25 years. He also was a PIAA football official for 34 years and a basketball official for 25 years.

Born July 10, 1933 in Franklin, he was the late son of Michael and Wladzia (Sitkowksi) Harris. He married Sonnie Welshans on July 16, 1955, they were married for 56 years until she passed away Dec. 10, 2011.

Following high school, he served in the U.S. Army from 1953-55 before going to college at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in Oxford, Miss., graduating in 1958.

Harris is survived by sons Randy (Paula) Harris and Jeff (Karen) Harris, a daughter, Jauna Routier, seven grandsons (Brian shirey, Brice Stewart, Shawn Harris, and Russel Smith, six granddaughters (Chrissy Shirey, Mendy Stewart, Shannon Harris, Alisha Harris, Skye Routier, and Lacy Routier), five great-grandsons (Chase (Dawn) Shirey, Trenton (Jacey) Shirey, Kord Stewart, Myles Harris, and Kasen John Routier, one great-granddaughter (Quinn Harris) and one great-great-grandson (Lexon Shirey). Also surving our two sisters, Di Boal and Helen Sharp and two sister-in-laws, Tina Harris and Willy Harris, and one-brother-in-law, William Sharp Sr.

In addition to his parents and wife, he Was preceded in death by two sisters; Mary Ann Buck and Sally Marshall, four brothers; Carl, George, Michael Jr. and Bill Harris, two sisters-in-law’s; Tootie, and Jean Harris, and three brothers-in-law’s; Ronald (Sonny) Buck, Sr., Louis Marshall, and Robert Boal, Jr.

The Varner Funeral Home of Rimersburg is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting


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