Ms. Essie M. Harris

11/06/1923 - 07/04/2022

Obituary For Ms. Essie M. Harris

Ms. Essie Mae Harris, a resident of Lanett, AL, died Monday, July 4, 2022 at her residence.

Funeral Services are scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 9, 2022 at Mt. Hermon Baptist Church parking lot with Rev. Dr. Lamar Johnson, officiating.

Interment will follow in Mt. Hermon Cemetery, Lanett, AL. Davis Memorial Mortuary of Valley directing.

On July 4, 2022 Essie Mae Harris responded to the Lord calling her home. She was born on November 6, 1923 to the parentage of the late Bessie Morgan Hargett and the late Covis Heard. Reared in Shawmut (now Lanett), Alabama, she was a graduate of Lanier High School in Lanett, Alabama. Further studies resulted in her receiving a Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degrees for Alabama State University in the field of Mathematics and Science. After completing college, she returned to her Alma Mater, Lanier High School as a Mathematics teacher until her retirement of 30 plus years.

Ms. Harris was an exceptional educator, mentor, motivator, and always led by example. She was a political activist showing great concern about her community and its citizens. She was committed to spiritual and social excellence. She had high moral values and standards. Her accomplishments are numerous depicting her grave concern for human dignity, freedom, and social reforms. She was affiliated with numerous civic and service organizations serving as: Director for Tri-County Volunteer Girl Scout Camp, Director of Camp Fun and Exploration for Pine Valley, Chairperson for special events in Lanett for St. Jude Research Hospital for Children, Recruiter for Chattahoochee Blood Bank and the American Heart Association, Chairperson for Cystic Fibrosis for West Shawmut, board member for the Valley United Fund, Advisory Committee for Chattahoochee Hospice, advocate for Alabama One-Church-One Child, member of the Board of Directors for Valley Haven School, Habitat for Humanity, Coordinator for Senior Citizens Recreation Center of West Shawmut, and Treasurer for the Valley Chapter of Alabama State University Alumni Association.

As a lifelong member of Mt. Hermon Baptist Church, Ms. Harris was a faithful, active, and dedicated member. She has served as a Sunday School teacher, Departmental Superintendent for the Sunday School, Counselor for the Matron’s Department, Youth Director, Vacation Bible School Director, Programs Coordinator, and Correspondence Secretary for the church. On the district level, she served as the Spiritual Advisor for the Bowen East District Youth Conference, Executive Secretary for the Bowen East District Congress of Christian Education, Instructor and Lecturer for the Bowen East District Women’s Convention, and Programs Coordinator for the Bowen East District Matron’s Department.

Ms. Harris has received Community Service Awards from the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and the Secretary of State of Alabama; and she received the Most Outstanding Woman of the Year Award from the NAACP. Because of services rendered, a program “This Is Your Life Essie” was presented in her honor by her church in 1986. The Alabama League for the Advancement of Education was given in recognition of her support for excellence in education.

In 1995, a service of appreciation was given in her honor by friends and alumni of L. B. Sykes Junior High School (formerly Lanier High School). Again, in 1998, she was inducted into the Alabama Senior Citizen Hall of Fame. She was selected in 2006 to serve as Grand Marshall of the Valley-Wide Christmas Parade.

On January 17, 2022, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Lambda Zeta Omega Chapter recognized Ms. Harris as a Pioneer in the field of Education Funeral Services by Davis Memorial Mortuary of Valley.

She has given unselfishly of her time, talents, and resources to the people of Chambers County all of her life. She initiated Vacation Bible School at the following churches: Mount Hermon, Evergreen, Zion Rest, Rehoboth, and Greenwood.

She was preceded in death by one brother, Napoleon Heard and two sisters, Louverria White and Mattie Lou Woody.

She leaves to cherish her precious memories: two nieces and one great-nephew who she reared, Iverria (Richet) Henderson, Decatur, GA, Brenda Stiggers, Lanett, AL, and Kelvin (Wylinda) Woody, Fayetteville, GA.

Other nieces and nephews who have served as caregivers: Gloria (Stanley) Davis, Valley, AL, Yolanda Hopkins, West Point, GA, Ronald Woody, Lanett, AL, Carl (Ligaya) White, Chula Vista, CA, and Jabari Lynch, Lanett, AL; a special great- nephew, Broderick Stiggers, and a host of nieces, nephews, other loving relatives, god-children and friends.

Send flowers to the service of Ms. Essie M. Harris




Mt. Hermon Cemetery
2169 22nd Street SW
Lanett, AL 36863

Funeral Service

11:00 AM
Mt Herman Baptist Church
1601 Magnolia Rd
Lanett, AL 36863

Guest Book

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. Proverbs 20:11 Though it has been the better part of a half century ago, this proverb positioned above the blackboard in Ms. Essie Mae Harris's mathematics classroom are etched in my heart and mind. In addition to introducing my adolescent classmates and my sophomoric minds to geometry and pre-algebra, Ms. Harris labored to give us a moral and spiritual foundation that would sustain our lives through the vicisitudes of adult life. She insisted that we develop character in addition to mathematical skills. Sure I've used knowledge of the measurement of a right angle being 90 degrees here and there with around the house projects but nothing compares to the love and due diligence our beloved teacher exemplified in our daily interactions with her. I last saw Ms. Harris at the Bowen East District Association meeting in 2018. She mistakingly referred to me by older brother Frank's name. Of course, I did not correct her. (No former student would ever date correct Ms. Harris). Instead I received her warm embrace and kiss. She commented on my obvious weight gain, and I replied how lovely she looked. "Fair well dear servant of God. Our grief is but for the moment but your legacy will live on in our hearts." Respectfully, Reginald R. Wright LHS Class of '83

- Reginald R Wright

Prayers,L💓VE and Blessings To The Family!🛐 Mary F Bailey-Mitchell & Family *Lanier High 1967*

- Mary F Bailey-Mitchell

A life well lived in educating the whole village of Lanett especially at dear Lanier. Thank God for a servant who was a shining light for all of us. Colonel(Retired) Douglas Bonner, USA, LHS Class 1975

- Douglas Bonner

Rest in Paradise "Mother Harris", you will be missed. Thanks for all you have done in the Greater Valley Area and Community.

- Chris and Deidra Williams

A wonderful teacher that impacted the lives of all her students. She gave of herself in so many ways for the betterment of her community. RIP Ms Harris. LHS Class of 1980. Penny Beasley Lynch.

- Penny

My Greatest and most ❤ teacher.

- Dorothy Combs Brock

My greatest and most Loved Teacher. Praying for the family.

- Dorothy Combs Brock

Hoping that you're comforted by memories the caingof others, and the healing power of time sorry for your loss Barbara Drake_Thomas ,Delores Drake Smith, Bobbie Drake Thomas , Gustavus Tolbert

- Barbara Drake Thomas

Thanks for the profound impact and influence you had on our community. You will be missed. Rest in His arms Vernon Carter, Pastor Berean Church

- Vernon Carter

A bright light is now shining in the heavens! I pray a host of angels welcomed you home. Rest on and keep those of us still journeying in your will. Trudye Johnson. Cousin

- Trudye johnson

I will forever remember what a fantastic math teacher you were me! Prayers of comfort, peace, & lovingkindness be with your entire extended family. Mary Miss-Cooper

- Mary Miss-Cooper

I well Honor your name for rest of my life RIP Mother Harris my God bless.

- Mildred Holloway

Deepest sympathy Will be surely missed

- Marian Story

The Lanier High School Class of 1960 extend their sincere condolences to the family of Miss Essie M. Harris. The Class will forever be indebted to Miss Harris for the impact that she had on our lives. She was a great teacher and mentor for the majority of graduates from Lanier High School. She was the best and will be missed. Rest in Peace.

- Leroy Greenwood

My condolences to the family. May God grant you peace and understanding. 🙏🏾

- Marlon and Tollie

Words can't express how much you impacted our community.. you were our neighborhood mother, my mind goes back to the days as a little boy how you walked the streets and basically recruited us to go to vacation bible school at the old Mt. Hermon Baptist Church.. Thank you so much for being instrumental in my place your footprint in my life and I'll never forget you and the love that you shared and shown me.. Servant well done, you were faithful over all that called you to do.. I love you Granny Harris.. Pastor Tony L. Avery

- Rev. Tony L. Avery

RIP Ms. Harris - You're tremendous work on earth is done. Go Rest High on that Mountain. One of the best teachers at Lanett High School, You didn't pass her 9th. grade class without saying the Alma motto. Praying for the family.

- Benita Smallwood Gunnells

Comfort and strength for the family The Howell's

- Angela McCray

Praying for the family.

- Tina Mcbride