Jack Harris’ last wish was to die peacefully at home in the presence of his family.
He got his wish on Aug. 1 when, surrounded by his mother- and father-in-law, siblings, friends, his children and his wife, he lost his battle with cancer at the age of 38.
“Everybody loved him,” said Harris’s wife, Dawn. “And he loved everybody.”
Wearing her husband’s black printed T-shirt and dark hunter green cargo pants, Dawn Harris and her best friend, Rene Alger, reminisced about Jack Harris at a fundraiser Saturday at Spa-Topia in Copperas Cove.
The event was organized by family friend Rebecca Payne, owner of Spa-Topia, to raise funds to help the family pay for Jack’s funeral services and medical bills totaling more than $500,000.
When Dawn and Jack Harris met in 2008, it was love at first sight.
“He didn’t even ask me to marry him,” she said. “He just said, ‘We’re getting married.’”
And they did it a year later, on his birthday in October 2009.
Dawn Harris described their marriage and relationship as “perfect.”
They never argued, she said, and most importantly, he loved her two children.
On Saturday, the couple’s daughter asked a difficult question at the Spa-Topia fundraiser.
“Mommy, where’s Daddy?” she said, pulling on her mother’s loose-fitting clothing. “When are we going to see him?”
In January 20012, Jack Harris began having migraine headaches. He experienced dizziness and frequently lost his balance. One day, Jack collapsed when the Harrises were looking at trucks in Killeen.
Dawn immediately rushed him to Metroplex Hospital, where he was given a CT scan and sent to the trauma unit.
Jack Harris was diagnosed with Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer in February 2012.
“They found some masses on his brain and said there was no more they could do,” Dawn Harris said.
Just 18 months later, 95 people dressed in colorful attire paid their respects to the Harris family at a memorial service Wednesday at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Copperas Cove.
Many reminisced about Jack’s life, recalling his loving personality and reciting his personal motto: “Once you go Jack, you never go back.”