Harless donated millions to the Mingo County community to provide local residents access to a community center that includes a movie theater, a swimming pool, exercise equipment, educational rooms and a community health center.

In addition to his philanthropic efforts in Mingo County, Harless also was a major supporter of the state’s universities. He was one of the first contributors to Marshall’s Society of Yeager Scholars. The university also is home to the Buck Harless Student Athlete Program and the June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development. He served as a member of the West Virginia University System Board of Trustees, was past chair of Marshall University Board of Advisors, a member of the Marshall University Foundation Board and was a member and past chair of the West Virginia University Foundation Board.

“Truly the rarest of the exceptional human beings who have graced our world, Buck Harless was a devoted West Virginian who dedicated himself to making this state a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Stephen J. Kopp, president, Marshall University. “He was renowned for his business acumen and esteemed by the elite and well-connected. He was a touchstone for political aspirants; however, it was the countless lives of everyday people he touched through his generosity, caring and willingness to share his wisdom that set him apart.”

A public viewing is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 4 at the Larry Joe Harless Community Center in Gilbert. The funeral service is planned for 1 p.m. Sunday, January 5 at Gilbert Presbyterian Church with a celebration at 2 p.m. at the Larry Joe Harless Community Center. Evans Funeral Home of Chapmanville is handling the arrangements.