Ed Harris dies Tuesday afternoon
Ed Harris, the longtime owner and operator of one of Jackson’s most popular eateries, died Tuesday afternoon. He had been diagnosed with cancer only a few weeks ago and had started treatments but succumbed quickly.
Harris was in the food business for 41 years before retiring in 2006. He started working as an assistant manager at Troy’s Drive-In in 1964. He worked there for 20 years for owner Troy Jones and in 1984 Jones retired and sold the business to Harris and the name changed to Ed’s Drive-In.
The food, especially the hamburgers at Troy’s and then Ed’s, were famous near and far.
A friend and old classmate from Coffeeville High School, William Harper of Jackson related Harris’ popularity. “Ed was highly respected in this area and was well known for the good food he served for so many years to so many people. I have been told, when talking to people that traveled through Jackson, that they always carried his phone number and would call their order in from down or up the road depending on the direction they were traveling. Many out of county travelers knew and respected Ed.”
Harris worked at Vanity Fair before going to work at Troy’s and also drove a milk truck for two years. In a story when he retired at the age of 71 he related, “I started to work when I was 15-years-old and I’ve never been without a job a day in my life.”
Ironically, the man who purchased and continued the tradition established by Jones and Harris died suddenly on March 21. Billy Wimberly of Carlton had renamed the establishment simply “The Drive-In.” The business is still operating, serving good food to locals and travelers alike.
Harris is survived by his wife, Faye Harris; two daughters, Delilah Harris Morgan and Angie Lynn Sullivan; a son, Eddie Harris Jr.; and a stepson, Tony Johnson; six grandsons and two granddaughters.
He and his wife were members of the First Baptist Church of Jackson.
Visitation will be Thursday from 1 p.m. until the 3 p.m. funeral at Lathan Funeral Home in Jackson. Burial will be in Trinity Memorial Gardens on the Walker Springs Road.