A FORMER head teacher, Methodist preacher and Rotarian, who died the day before his 90th birthday, has been described as a pillar of the community.
Ken Harris (89) passed away on July 31 after a brief illness, leaving daughters Joan Burne, Lesley, Clare, and Ian Harris, seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
A conscientious objector who worked as a battlefield medic during the Second World War, he moved to Lutterworth in 1955 with his wife Jessie –who died last year – and became Lutterworth High School head teacher.
He began preaching in Wigston 70 years ago and worked at the Methodist Church in Lutterworth when he moved there.
Former Methodist Church minister Christine Kennell said: "He was very committed to the local community as a
headmaster, as a Rotarian, and with his church work.
"He was at the heart of Lutterworth community for years and years.
"People were drawn to him and he was a natural leader. We're going to miss him very much."
Towards the end of his life he compiled his exhaustive knowledge of church history into a book celebrating the church bicentenary.
The Rev Kennell, who now teaches religious studies at Rugby High School, said: "He had a really incisive brain right up to the end.
"He kept up-to-date with issues, was never afraid of
challenge and had that sort of humour and wit, learning and wisdom which meant that even in his 90th year people looked forward to his preaching."
A committed musician, he conducted the choral society from 1957 to 1987 and
regularly played the organ at church services.
He joined the Rotary Club of Lutterworth when he retired from the High School after two decades.
Rotarian Ronald Clegg said: "He was a very close friend and a very nice chap indeed."
On Tuesday there will be a family cremation followed by a service of thanksgiving at the Methodist Church in Bitteswell Road.