Marjorie Garland Harris, 91, passed away on Sept. 11, 2020, at her home in Talmage Terrace in Athens, GA. The youngest of 4 children, she was born on Sept. 20, 1928, in Champaign, IL to Harry and Frances (Wright) Garland.
Marjorie graduated from Winter Park High School in Winter Park, FL and went on to attend Orlando Junior College, where she met her husband, Emmett D. Harris, Jr. Newly married, they moved to Ithaca, NY, where Emmett received his doctorate at Cornell University. Their daughter and son were both born in Ithaca. In 1956 when Emmett took a research position with the University of Florida, the family moved to Belle Glade, FL. In 1965 they moved to Athens, GA, where Emmett worked in the extension Entomology Department at the University of Georgia.
Marjorie was passionate about her family, volunteering, staying active both physically and mentally, and playing bridge. She loved celebrating the holidays and was even known to have Easter egg hunts for her grown children. She and Emmett greatly enjoyed many international trips together, including cruises and educational trips, during which they experienced both planned and unanticipated adventures.
Marjorie lived life with purpose and contributed her time and energy to several Athens organizations. She was president of the University Newcomers Women’s club and of St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary. She volunteered at the University Health Clinic, did student mentoring at Gaines School, and served on the Juvenile Court Citizens Panel. She was a member of the Leadership Athens board, delivered Meals on Wheels, and was a volunteer at the Clarke County Police Academy. Marjorie was a “people person” and went out of her way to make others feel welcome, whether it was in her Cedar Creek neighborhood or in her new home in Talmage Terrace/Lanier Gardens. She was a champion for the underdog and thought it important that everyone feel included.
Marjorie was a “fighter”: when she contracted polio in 1955, her will and determination got her through months of rehab. In 2012 she was diagnosed with Wegener’s Granulomatosis, which at the time was often a fatal disease. With the expertise and care of her doctors and with her own perseverance, she lived 8 full years after her diagnosis. She was active in every aspect of living at Talmage Terrace. She attended concerts on site and at the University, went to Tai Chi with Sam and laughing yoga with Elizabeth, went on numerous field trips, played bingo and bridge, and watched her DAWGS on TV. She loved children and was “Grandma Marge” to many a happy child. Marjorie was delighted to be baptized at The First United Methodist Church in Athens side by side with a newborn baby on December 24, 2017. Her morning ritual before breakfast was to read her scriptures and devotionals. She was known for her corny jokes and playing washboard in the Old Timey Band at Talmage Terrace/Lanier Gardens.
Marjorie was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, her parents, and her 3 siblings. She is survived by her daughter, Heather Harris, and son, Jeffrey Harris, as well as 2 grandsons, Eric (Sarah) and Cory Harris. She leaves behind several devoted nieces and nephews, as well as many friends that she considered family.
The family wishes to thank the Personal Care staff at Talmage Terrace for their excellent care and also Care to Continue for providing truly dedicated, compassionate caregivers, which allowed mom to maintain the independence she sought.
Marjorie’s favorite charities were Heifer International, Athens Community Council on Aging, and The First United Methodist Church of Athens.
Due to COVID-19 and CDC guidelines, the family chose not to have a service at this time. In honor of Marjorie, please think of her whenever you are enjoying a Krispy Kreme donut or a piece of rhubarb pie.
Lord and Stephens, East, 4355 Lexington Road, Athens, GA 30605 is in charge of arrangements.
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