Cover photo for Lee Owen Harris's Obituary
Lee Owen Harris Profile Photo
1941 Lee 2023

Lee Owen Harris

May 20, 1941 — August 29, 2023

Lee Owen Harris, former Cozad resident, passed away August 29, 2023 at The Willows at Gretna, NE at the age of 82. He was born in Cozad to Bill and Loretta (Bybee), the second of six children, on May 20, 1941.

The Harris family attended the Primitive Baptist Church and moved to a small farm near Darr where Lee attended District #19 rural school.  He earned several math and science academic awards. Lee was an outstanding athlete in multiple sports and a proud member of the 1958 Class B State Championship Track Team. He graduated from Cozad High School in 1959.  Three months later on August 22, he married his high school sweetheart, Lavonne Grabenstein.  To this union they were blessed with two children, Brian and Vicki.

The couple lived in Denver for a short time before returning to Cozad to begin a farm/ranch business of 25 years.  Lee was recognized as the Outstanding Young Farmer of Nebraska in 1966.  He was active in the American Lutheran Church, serving as head usher and a member of the church council.  He was involved with the Dawson County Cattlemen, Nebraska Cattlemen, Dawson County Extension Board, and the 100th Meridian Livestock 4-H Club. He served as the president of the T-Bone Club and secretary for the District #29 council.  He was a charter member of the Cozad Elks Lodge.  Also, Lee was an avid tennis player in both singles and doubles competition.

With a move to Lincoln in 1990, Lee and Lavonne embarked on their truck driving career.  For nearly 14 years, they travelled cross-country as a team for over a million miles.  After Lavonne's untimely death in 2005, Lee stayed busy with travelling, part-time work at Walmart, and attending his grandchildren's school events and family gatherings.

Lee was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Lavonne; parents; in-laws Walter and Della June Grabenstein; brothers Charles and Dee; brothers-in-law Gary Grabenstein and Rod Light.  Survivors are son Brian (Lynn) Harris of Bushnell, FL; daughter Vicki (Derrin) Hansen of Gretna; granddaughter Danica (Jackson) Wilson of Madison, AL; grandson Derek (Mikayla) Harris of Omaha; granddaughter Abby Hansen of Charlotte, NC; granddaughter Erica Hansen of Omaha; four great-grandchildren Callen, Cora, and Cienna Wilson, and Jaxdon Harris. Lee's siblings include Orpha (Ron) McVicker of Denver, CO; Jon (Kerri) Harris of Davenport, FL; Rita Light of Bennet.  Many nieces, nephews, and cousins, along with other dear friends, are left to cherish his memory.

Memorials will be directed by the family. Visitation with family present will be Friday, September 8, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Berryman Funeral Home. Services will be held Friday, September 8, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at the Berryman Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Steve Berke officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lee Owen Harris, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 8, 2023

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, September 8, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 49

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree