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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Mar. 28, 2017 2 years ago

Obituary: Gloria Ann Harris

Ms. Harris, 85, died Saturday, March 25, 2017.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor


August 20, 1931 – March 25, 2017


Proverbs 31: 10-31


A beautiful gracious woman died this week. Gloria Ann (Johnson) Harris passed peacefully without pain on Saturday, March 25, 2017, knowing abundant love from family, friends and her Heavenly Father.  

Ann was born in Atlanta, daughter of many generations of Southern ladies and Steel Magnolias.  She moved to Orlando in her teens, attended OHS with her older sister, Jane Johnson (Steele), and was tickled to say they were both “Dixie Debs.”

After high school she briefly attended modeling school in New York until it became apparent she was too short to walk the runway. She returned to Florida, worked at LaPierre Pontiac and met the man of her dreams, Phil Harris, at a USO dance.

Phil’s military career swept them across the country to a succession of Air Force bases, where Ann set up new homes for her growing family of three daughters. She lived in many places, but Florida was always “home.”

After Phil’s retirement, new adventures began in Orlando: a great job at the USDA, Evans basketball games, West Orange Country Club, friends, mountain vacations,  and golf — lots of golf.   

Throughout the chapters of her life Ann remained true to her Georgia Peach heritage. Although she thought of herself as a Floridian, she carried herself with feminine grace and style reminiscent of Melanie Wilkes, always well groomed and beautifully dressed; she was ladylike all the days of her life.  

Mama loved tiny babies, horses, crossword puzzles, precise grammar, hydrangeas, “O Holy Night,” Paul Newman, Arnold Palmer, the beach, lemon curd, chocolate milkshakes, dental floss, playing gin with the girls and pretty clothing that did not have to be dry cleaned. She was an avid Magic fan and watched every game on TV for 15 seasons. 

She was conscientious, careful and responsible in all things. Mama was loving, at times stern, gracious but direct, aloof and fragile as a flower petal. She was quietly spiritual and loyal to the highest order.

Predeceased by her dearest friend and sister Jane, Ann leaves behind family and friends who cherished her: daughters, Marcia Harris, Nila Harris, Raenelle Bailey (Travis); grandchildren, (Lorie Bonham, Jessica Bailey, Chris Justice and Daniel Hanna), great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews who called her Sassue; caregivers, dogs; and above all else, her beloved husband of 63 years and the center of her universe, Phil Harris.

In lieu of funeral services, her family will have a private remembrance gathering.

All who wish to remember her are invited to follow her example of love, gentility and grace and to uplift her family with prayer.

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