Cover photo for Alvin J "Cotton" Harris's Obituary
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1924 Alvin 2021

Alvin J "Cotton" Harris

October 18, 1924 — January 7, 2021

Alvin J “Cotton” Harris, born in 1924 and a life-long resident of Bradley County, escaped these earthly bounds on Thursday, January 7, 2021, to join his high school sweetheart and wife of more than 70 years.

In World War II, he served in the Navy aboard the Destroyer U.S.S. Herzog in North Atlantic’s “Torpedo Alley.” (1943-44) From 1945-46, he was stationed at the Y Squadron in Annapolis, Maryland, where he achieved Yeoman 2nd class.

He was a whole-sale car dealer, then a retail dealer, and back to a whole-sale dealer in Cleveland for many years and knew just about everybody. He was quick to make friends and give them all nicknames.  He was a member of North Cleveland Baptist Church for more than 70 years.  Over the years, he loved to laugh, to fish (especially trout) and to golf.  He didn’t start golf until after he turned 60 years old and became pretty darn good at it, achieving three holes in one.  He couldn’t hit the ball very far, but was boringly straight.

He was married to Lorane (Matthews) Harris, his true partner and soulmate for more than 70 years, until her death in June 2013.  They spent countless hours in their mini Winnebago traveling around the U.S. and spent their lives simply loving each other and their kids.

He was thankful for his golf buddies, BoJangle’s buddies, his Sunday School class, folks who have been good to him over the years, folks he didn’t know but who treated him so kindly as he grew old. He was thankful for his friends at Garden Plaza, anyone who brought him a nutty bar, and, of course, his family.  He always felt so much better after he had a good laugh with you. (You know who you are and you were cherished.) A special thank-you to the morning staff at 25th Street BoJangle’s who called him Papaw and were incredibly sweet to him every weekday morning for several years. He missed being there the last 10 months. Special thanks, too, to his caregivers at Garden Plaza, Actikare, and Hospice of Chattanooga.

Alvin was the son of the late Will Harris and Margaret Cofer Harris.  He was also preceded in death by his wife, Lorane; sisters, Clara Cavette, Opal Elkins, Thelma Cissom, Willie Beaty and Fern Collins; and brothers, Ira M and Homer.

He is survived by his brother Marvin and wife Vivian; his son, Gary, and wife Kathleen; his daughter, Phyllis and husband Bruce Tilden; and step grandchildren Wendi and Craig Tilden.

The family will hold a private memorial at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 14, 2021.  The service will be live streamed for those wishing to attend virtually and can be found at   Interment will follow at Eastview Baptist Church cemetery in No Pone Valley with military honors.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials may be made to North Cleveland Baptist Church, 2815 North Ocoee St., Cleveland, TN   37312.

We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Harris family guestbook at

Fike-Randolph & Son Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alvin J "Cotton" Harris, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

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