Minnie Beatrice James Harris

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  • "Mrs. Harris was a beautiful lady inside and out. She loved..."
  • "I never saw Mrs. Harris after I left Campbell but I have..."
    - Tracey Parker
  • "More than a PE teacher! Special Lady indeed! Prayers of..."
  • "Daphne and family, your mother was one of my favorite..."
    - Dana Hughes
  • "A wonderful and caring woman who will be missed by everyone..."
    - cindy Watkins
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Minnie Beatrice James Harris was born on March 25, 1932 in Katy, Texas to the late Jesse Henry James and Texaner Johnson James. She was one of ten children raised on the family's rice farm. Minnie passed away on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center Hospice in Daytona Beach, FL. Education was the most important aspect of the James family life. Because Katy Texas only provided a segregated elementary school, Katy Elementary School for African-American children, the family sent Minnie and her siblings to live with relatives in Houston, Texas to attend George Washington Carver High School (GWCHS). She graduated GWCHS in 1949 and went on to Prairie View A&M University, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education in 1953. She attended graduate school at the State University of Iowa in 1954 and 1955. She completed her Master of Education Degree in Administration and Supervision at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida in 1977. Minnie started her career as a Physical Education teacher at Campbell Junior High School. She would later take on the responsibilities of Department Head, Basketball Coach, Volleyball Coach and Cheerleader Sponsor. With the completion of her administrative credentials she would go on to become Assistant Principal of Osceola Elementary School, Ormond Beach, FL (1978-1980), Principal of Lenox Elementary School, Daytona Beach, FL (1980-1981), Principal of Bonner Elementary School, Daytona Beach, FL (1981-1988), and finally retiring as the Principal of Westside Elementary School, Daytona Beach, FL (1988-1991). She served as a Water Safety Instructor for the Daytona Beach Recreation Department and CETA Coordinator for the Campbell Center. She was a member of Kappa Delta Phi Sorority (an International Honor Society in Education), the Florida Assn. for School Administrators, Suburbia Estates Civic Assn. and Pilot Club of Halifax Area, Inc. Minnie was a faithful member of Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church for over 50 years. She served on the Care Connect Ministry Team, Membership Hospitality Ministry Team, Nomination Committee, Staff Pastor Parrish Committee, Trustee Board and participated in many other activities. In 1954, Minnie met Herbert Cloyce Harris, Sr. They were married on February 26, 1955 and remain happily wed for fifty-four years until Herbert's passing in September, 2009. From this union they had three children, Daphne, Herbert, Jr. and Stephan. Minnie and Herbert were devoted to their children and subsequent grandchildren. When their children decided to play music, they bought them musical instruments and taught them how to play them. Minnie taught all of her children how to swim. When they joined the city swim team, Daytona Beach Swim Assn., they had a pool built in their backyard so they could practice. When the children started attending swim meets around the state, they purchased a large motor home to travel back and forth to the meets. This large "Condor II" vehicle doubled as a luxury travel vehicle on wheels to visit family members across the country-stopping occasionally to take in popular landmarks such as the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. When family members recall Minnie, they remember a strong, vibrant woman who had unconditional, never-ending love for her immediate and extended families. Her sweet soul and compassionate heart drew you in to the warmth of her spirit. Minnie's dedication to her children and grandchildren was as strong as her unyielding faith in God. Minnie was preceded in death by sisters, Nathalla Connor and Audria Elmore and brothers Gordon James, Jesse James, Jr., Thomas James, Wesley James. She is survived by daughter Daphne Harris Ray, sons Herbert Harris, Jr. and Stephan Harris (Regina), sisters, Eartha Lynn (Cecil) and Freddie McGowen, brother Albert James (Mary), sister-in-law Maxine Daniels (Thomas), sister-in-law Inez Hall Harris, seven grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends. Visitation with the family will be Friday, January 17, 2014 at Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church from 5 until 7 pm. Service time is 11:00 am, Saturday, January 18, 2014 at Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery.


Funeral Home
Herbert Thompson Funeral Home
901 Dr Mary Mcleod Bethune Blvd
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(386) 253-1651
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Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Jan. 17, 2014
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