Jonathan Harris (Jon) of Christiansburg died peacefully on Sunday, March 23, 2019. He is survived by his beloved wife of 21 years, Jeanne; his mother Louise Meyer; his father Ned Harris; his brother Ed Harris and his wife Jennifer McMurtray, and their two children Lisa and Michael; his sister Beth Greene and her husband Richard Greene, and their two children Parks Greene and Grace Dellis. Grace’s husband is Stephen and they have an infant son Teddy.
Jon attended Virginia Tech and obtained an associate degree in Information Systems from New River Community College. For the past 23 years, Jon remained a dedicated student and Sensei to the Kodokan Aikido Blacksburg Dojo where he achieved the rank of Yondon (fourth degree black belt). He met Jeanne when he first started studying Aikido in Blacksburg.
Jon worked at Radford University in University Relations as Web Director for 18 years. Jon has a deep love of animals and was a devoted pet parent to many cats and dogs over the years.
Jon was a wonderful husband and friend. He was a warrior and a poet at heart. He served on active duty in the Navy during Operation Desert Storm with a relief battalion in Okinawa, Japan. He also served in the Naval Reserves for 18 years. He fought hard for a year against stage 4 pancreatic cancer, defying the odds, surviving a year. He participated in an immunotherapy trial at UVA in the hopes of extending his life or his survival and improving the odds of future pancreatic cancer patients.
The family will hold a Celebration of Jon’s Life at Horne Funeral Home on Friday, March 29 at noon. An additional short graveside service will take place at Forest Rest Natural Cemetery in Boones Mill starting approximately at 2:30. There will be a public visitation at 11 am, closed casket. We look forward to sharing stories of how Jon touched us.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to Friends of Animal Care & Control – Montgomery County, VA and Kodokan Aikido at Virginia Tech.