William Neely Harris, 95, Pecatonica, Illinois, died at 10:15 a.m., Monday, April 13, 2009 at Medina Manor Nursing Center, Durand, Illinois. \r\r\n\r\r\n He was born in Seward Township, Illinois on the family farm, March 24, 1914 to Mr. and Mrs. William and Mary (Neely) Harris. He was married to Lillian Schultz, then later to Barbara Herbig for 30 years. Belonged to Loyal Order of Moose Lodge of Freeport, Rockford Hanger of the Quite Birdmen, VFW Donald Lorraine Tarbet, Post 8416, American Legion Eugene J. Barloga, Post 197 and the Winnebago Farm Bureau. He enjoyed flying airplanes, riding motorcycles, boating and snowmobiling. Neely and Cousin Roy Neely were in the livestock trucking business before they started taking flying lessons at the Machesney Airport. He soloed in 1940 and earned his private license and later his commercial pilot’s license. Neely was a flight instructor for the Veterans Training under the GI Bill and had as many as 75 students at a time at the Pecatonica Airport. As a Service pilot, he was an instructor of a flight school in the military. Then he was assigned as a pilot of the military Air Transport in the Alaskan Theater, Ferrying Airplanes from Great Falls, Mont., to Fairbanks Alaska. When returning from the service, he joined his cousin Roy at the Pecatonica Airport, Inc. They were involved with the crop dusting business and purchased the Rochelle Airport and rented the Polo Airport. While crop dusting, they had as many as 24 planes in the air at one time. From 1946-1981, he contracted to fly for Del Monte Corp. as a corporate pilot. Neely never missed coffee in over 30 years with his friends. \r\r\n\r\r\n He is survived by his wife, Barbara Harris, daughter, Barbara (Randy) Smith; sons; Michael (Linda) Harris and Tom Harris, all of Pecatonica, IL; one grandson, five granddaughters, two step sons Mark (Renae) Herbig, Pecatonica, Illinois and Dennis Herbig, Seward, Illinois; two step-granddaughters, one great-granddaughter, one great-grandson, two step great-granddaughters, and four step great-grandsons. \r\r\n\r\r\n A gathering of family and friends has been arranged from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at the American Legion Eugene J Barloga, Post #197, 3rd and Main, Pecatonica, Illinois. Cremation Rites have been accorded.