Hoyt C. Harris, M.D., died Wednesday morning, Oct. 23, at River Park Hospital in McMinnville. He was 93.
Dr. Harris, born May 27, 1920, was the only child of Otie Poore and Bob Floyd Harris. After graduation from Dibrell High School, he attended David Lipscomb College and, in 1942, graduated with a bachelor of science degree from MTSU. Four years later, he received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis.
After four years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, stationed in San Antonio, Texas, and Augusta, Ga., he opened his first medical practice in McMinnville in a building now occupied by Main Street Bakery and Café. A commemorative stone embedded in the sidewalk in front of that business indicates he practiced medicine there from Oct. 1949 to March 1954. He left McMinnville with his wife and three children and moved to Memphis where he received a surgical residency at Baptist Memorial Hospital. In 1956 his family moved to Lewisburg where he was a founding partner of Medical Arts Clinic, performing general surgery and treating patients until 1976 when he moved back to McMinnville to continue his medical practice and care for his aging parents until their deaths.
In his spare time, he earned a law degree in the mid-1960s from LaSalle University of Chicago. Dr. Harris retired from medicine after a 50-year practice. Following retirement, his memoir, “A Steep Climb,” was published in 2010. The book, in addition to relating a long, eventful life of highs and lows, recounts growing up on a rural farm and how plowing many acres behind a very stubborn mule made him adamantly aspire to one day get off the farm and become a physician. The memoir remains available on amazon.com.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Beverly Jolet Harris; his daughter Linda Ellen Harris, and his grandson Nathan Green Harris.
He is survived by his wife Georgia M. Harris; his son Hoyt Clark Harris, Jr. of Lafayette, La.; his son Stephen Jolet Harris of Columbia, Mo; four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in High’s Chapel with Paul Dunlap officiating. Burial will follow in Mt. View Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, and from 11 a.m. until the time of service Saturday at High’s.
High Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
(McMinnville, Tenn.) Oct. 25, 2013