Cover photo for Ronda Harris's Obituary
Ronda Harris Profile Photo

Ronda Harris

July 1, 1943 — April 1, 2024

Ronda Harris

Ronda Helen Harris died on April 1, 2024, at the University of Arkansas Medical Center in Little Rock, AR after undergoing heart surgery.  She would have preferred dying from laughter at something her husband said but such is life.  Her husband of 62 years, James (Jim) Harris, was the love of her life and he made her laugh every day.

 

She was born on July 1, 1943, to Hal Holton Wray and Lillian Earlene Hart in Orange, Texas.  Ronda loved school and passed every class she took with an A from elementary school to finishing her Bachelor of Arts in English.   She was valedictorian of West Orange High School Class of 1961 and valedictorian of Lamar University, Class of 1992.  She waited to receive her college degree until every one of her children had left the home because she felt motherhood was her greatest calling.  Learning was a lifelong passion of hers as was teaching the things she learned.  She taught middle school English at Thomas A. Edison Middle School in Port Arthur, TX as well as youth classes at her church and the number of students she inspired is incalculable.

 

Ronda met Jim when she was 14 years old at their high school.  They dated for 4 years and were married on July 1, 1961on her 18th birthday in Orange, TX.  She was his everything and he was hers.  He thought she was the prettiest, smartest, cutest girl he ever knew.  They loved dancing to country music, playing Jokers and dominoes, traveling the world, and eating out.  They lived in Orange, TX; Georgetown, TX; and finally, Bonnerdale, AR on her family farm.  She felt their home on the farm was the most beautiful and peaceful place on earth.   She was a breast cancer survivor 3 times and Jim nursed her back to health each time with patience, tender care and laughter.

 

Ronda especially loved her family.  She thought her four children were the smartest, cutest kids in the world.  They raised James Edward Harris, III; Kay Lynn Archbold; Christy Leigh Parsons; and Wendy Ann Tingey to be active and faith filled.   Ronda and Jim loved to travel with their children, sing songs around the piano, play miniature golf, try out any roller coaster and beat them at Jokers.  Her only regret with her children was that as they married, they moved away from her.   James and his wife Sheli now live in Chicago, IL; Kay and her husband Mike live near Baltimore, MD; Christy and her husband Rob made her day when they moved to the farm in Bonnerdale; and Wendy and her husband Chris live in Tigard, OR.

 

Ronda was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She would tell the story that when she finally understood how her Savior, Jesus Christ, had paid for her sins, she told the Lord that she would serve Him with all her heart until the day she died.  And she did!  Her faith never wavered.  Ronda had a continuously updated prayer list of family and friends that she would faithfully pray for by name and specific need every day.  On the 50th anniversary of her baptism, she decided to write one story every week for 50 weeks about experiences she had with Jesus Christ.  She named it, “50 Years with Jesus” and she posted them on Facebook every week.  She gave us 2 extra weeks of bonus stories when she realized she could make it a year.  Ronda also loved genealogy and has found thousands of her ancestors.  Her relationship with her Father in Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ was an inspiration to her family and friends and her legacy lives on in her posterity.  She was an exemplary daughter of God and a committed disciple of Christ.

 

She is survived by her husband, Jim Harris of Bonnerdale, AR; her children and their spouses as listed above; her grandchildren, Nicole Harris of Mountain View, CA; Chelsea Harris of Chicago, IL; Jordan Harris of Sacramento, CA; Emma Harris and Brandt Harris of Chicago, IL; Lance Archbold of Spring, TX; Amiee Griffey of Baltimore, MD; Krista Bowen of Greensboro, NC; Adam Archbold of Newark, NY; Austin Parsons of Orem, UT; Alyssa Parsons of Orlando, FL; Andrew Parsons of Orem, UT; Ariana Parsons of Midlothian, TX; Braden Tingey of Tigard, OR; Darren Tingey of Gresham, OR; Corey Tingey of Provo, UT; and Emi Tingey of Tigard, OR.   She also is survived by her great-grandchildren, Ethan Archbold, Liam Archbold, Adelyn Archbold, Kaybre Bowen, Gelsomina Archbold, and Ferrah Bowen.

 

She is also survived by her brother John Hal Wray and his wife, Melba of Austin, TX; her sister Patricia Vassilaros and her husband Daniel, of Meridian, ID; and her brother Charles Lester Wray and his wife Carolyn, of Hot Springs, AR.

 

Her funeral services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes in Hot Springs, AR on April 13, 2024, at 2:00 pm. with visitation at 1:00 pm In the Chapel.  President Robert Parsons, her branch president, will preside over the services.   She will be buried at the family cemetery in Bonnerdale, AR next to her parents, Hal and Lillian Wray.  Her pallbearers will be her son - James Edward Harris, III and her grandsons – Lance Archbold, Jordan Harris, Austin Parsons, Andrew Parsons, Adam Archbold, Brandt Harris, Braden Tingey, and Corey Tingey.   Honorary pallbearers will be Michael Archbold, Chris Tingey, John Hal Wray, Charles Wray, and Darren Tingey.

 

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Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 13, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Smith Family Funeral Home - Hot Springs

2205 Airport Road, Hot Springs, AR 71913

Interment- Wray Family Cemetery

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