A bronze statue of Lecile in Collierville square

Lecile was many things to many people...

a drummer,
a 1949 Duncan yo-yo champion,
a bull fighter,
an award winning rodeo clown,
a coach
an actor,
a patriot,
a pillar of his community,
a loving husband,
a supportive father,
and an amazing (great)grandfather.

We want all the people who's lives he's touched to be able to sit and talk to him even after his passing. Our goal is to raise the money needed to build a life size bronze statue of him on the Historic Collierville Square.


Primary Goal: $100,000
A bronze statue of Lecile on the Collierville Square.


Lecile's Obituary:

Marvin Lecile Harris, 83, passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 13th, 2020 after the final performance of the 55th annual Dixie National Rodeo in Jackson, Mississippi.
Born in Lake Cormorant, Mississippi on November 6th, 1936, Lecile and his family moved to Collierville, Tennessee where he lived until his passing. He is preceded in death by his parents Rubye and Marvin Harris.

Lecile Harris got his start in rodeo as a bull rider and then a fill-in bullfighter while still in high school and developed into one of the sport’s most respected funnymen over a career that has spanned more than half a century. Called the “Dean of Rodeo Clowns/Bullfighters,” he was PRCA Clown of the Year in 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1996 as well as being inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2007 and Bull-riding Hall of Fame, Bull-fighters - Legends in 2020. Lecile performed all over the United States, as well as in Canada, Europe and Africa.

Lecile performed at more than 140 rodeos each year, his timing, inventiveness and classic style the envy of his contemporaries. He became well known for his signature end to a performance — as The Original Bulldancer — in which he would dance with a bull from the bucking stock. Lecile’s style is influenced by the work of several comedians he grew up admiring, including Emmett Kelly, Red Skelton, W.C. Fields and Laurel and Hardy. The painted face he used in his acts has been part of his persona since 1955 when he was asked to serve as an emergency replacement at Sardis, Miss., and used shoe polish and lipstick from the local drug store to prepare.

The multi-talented Lecile was a football player at the University of Tennessee-Martin, a session drummer and songwriter in the Memphis area during the 1950s and early ‘60s, when Sun Records and Hi Records were in their peak. Having performed on television and in films, He spent five years on the TV series Hee Haw and appeared in the films Walking Tall: The Final Chapter, The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James and W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings.

In his college years, Lecile started his sign making company which he continued throughout his life. Nearly every sign on the Collierville square was handcrafted by Lecile.

On August 11th, 1957, Lecile Harris married the love of his life, Ethel Bledsoe and they went on to have two sons, Matt and Chuck and one daughter, Christi. He has since become a beloved grandfather to four and a great grandfather to five. As much as he was adored by hundreds of thousands of fans around the world, Lecile was loved and cherished deeply by his family. They knew a different side of him.

Somewhere between the fiercest of protectors and a sweet gentle man with a golden heart; where tough love meets compassion. The first to lend a hand and the last to ask for one, Lecile was a man of pure values, generosity and unwavering authenticity.

In his passing, he leaves behind his wife, Ethel Harris, his three children, his sons, Matt (Joy) and Chuck Harris, daughter, Christi Lalonde (Donny), sister Mary Jo Wilson, nephew Jimmy Wilson and niece Wanda Moyer, grandchildren, Justin Harris (Dana), Indie Rhoda (Cody), Dylan and Bailey Lalonde, and great grandchildren, JJ, Cole, Harper Harris, Logan Kendrick and Coy Rhoda. His beloved dog, Duke. Lecile was the kind of father, grandfather and great grand father to take time to teach his kin skills and valuable lessons. He took the time to connect and pass along his wisdom and knowledge. He will forever be remembered with love by many.

Memorial service for Lecile Harris will be held Sunday, February 23rd, 2020 at 3 p.m. at the New Collierville High School Gymnasium. There will be a visitation from 1 to 3 p.m. prior to the service at the same location. The address is: 11605 East Shelby Drive, Collierville, Tennessee.

The public is welcome to join for this service in celebration of the life of Collierville legend, Lecile Harris.

Favorite Lecile quotes: “This ain’t my first rodeo” “Be particular and pay attention”
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Donations 

  • Johnny Walls
    • $20 
    • 3 yrs
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Fundraising team: Lecile's Family (6)

Ethel Harris
Organizer
Raised $1,260 from 19 donations
Collierville, TN
Indie-Cody Rhoda
Team member
Raised $470 from 6 donations
Bailey Lalonde
Team member
Raised $280 from 2 donations
Dylan Lalonde
Team member
Raised $100 from 1 donation
Christi Lalonde
Team member

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