ROCK ISLAND — Shelby Harris, one of the oldest men in the world at age 111, has died in Rock Island.
the Rock Island Nursing and Rehabilitation Center said on Sunday that Harris died there Wednesday.
Dr. L. Stephen Coles, of the Gerontology Research Group and Supercentenarian Research Foundation in Los Angeles, told the Quad City Times that Harris was the third-oldest man in the world and the oldest man in the U.S. when he died.
Dawn May, an administrator at the nursing home, told the newspaper that Harris died “comfortably in his sleep of natural causes.” May said Harris’ health had been declining recently. He had lived at the nursing home since he was 105, she said, and before that lived on his own with some help.
In April, he threw out the first pitch at a Quad-Cities River Bandits baseball game.
“He also got to have his favorite meal for his birthday: fried catfish, okra and sweet potato pie,” May said. “We made that for everybody.”
Harris was a deacon at Second Baptist Church in Rock Island until he was 102.
“A lot of people knew him here and in the community,” May said. “He was a very nice man, he really was. He had a lot of good stories.”