Skip to content


May 24, 2012

TURNED 111 YEARS OLD on March 31st

(Rock Island, IL) Shelby Harris (born March 31, 1901) is a resident of Rock Island Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and is an American supercentenarian. Now at 111 he is currently the oldest living resident of Illinois and the oldest man in the United States.  Harris was born and grew up in southern Indiana in a town called Ayrshire. During his youth, he started working in the coal mines in that area until he was offered a job at the Union Malleable (now John Deere) foundry in East Moline, IL. At the age of 41, Harris joined the army to serve in World War II, but due to a broken ankle, he did not make it out of boot camp.

Harris actively served as a deacon for Second Baptist church up until he was 102 and entered Rock Island Nursing & Rehabilitation Center when he was 105. He is a great-great-great-grandfather and his youngest grandson is 57 years old. He has outlived his three daughters and two wives.

When asked what two things are left on his “bucket list”, Shelby answers “I’d like to play baseball just one more time and possibly get married again. I have only just begun to live and I plan on sticking around,” he added. In celebration of his 111th birthday, Shelby threw out the first pitch of opening day for The River Bandits AAA minor league baseball game in Davenport, IA on April 5, 2012.

Harris has been a resident of Rock Island Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for more than 10 years and enjoys the company of his fellow residents and the entire staff, especially the “pretty nurses and CNA’s.”  Shelby participates in many activities including Wii bowling, exercise programs and social events. His favorite food is fried catfish and sweet potato pie.

Bryan Barrish, President, SIR Management a consulting company to Rock Island Nursing & Rehabilitation Center stated, “I am thrilled that Mr. Harris has achieved this milestone and chose Rock Island Nursing & Rehab as his home.” Barrish continued, “he continues to do well and I am proud of our staff that have helped him celebrate his 111th birthday. Everyone works hard to ensure all of our residents get the care they need and live a dignified life.”

Harris is seemingly a lifelong Democrat voting for John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Barack Obama in 2008. He credits his longevity to God, and his grandson says he takes good care of himself and still has a good memory.

About Rock Island Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
Rock Island Nursing and Rehabilitation Center specializes in providing care to those individuals in need of skilled nursing care for an extended period or for short-term rehabilitation. While they are located in the Quad Cities area, they are sought out from out of state families for the level of care it provides. Healthcare services include on-site hemodialysis, bariatric care, ventilator and tracheostomy care, Alzheimer’s Memory Care and physical, occupational and speech rehabilitation therapy in a skilled nursing environment.

About SIR Management
SIR Management provides expert consultation in Long Term Care, through a network of thirteen nursing facilities throughout the Chicago Metro area including Byron, Decatur, Rockford and Rock Island. SIR Management services include Rehabilitation, Advanced Acute Care, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care Services, On-Site Dialysis, Hospice Care, Bariatric Care, Respite Care and Adult Day Care.

From → Uncategorized

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: