RICHARD HARRIS, JR. Born March 27, 1945 in Scott, Mississippi, to Richard Harris, Sr. and Mary Harris. He was a devoted father, friend, mentor and servant of God. He passed away suddenly on September 25, 2005 at the age of 60. Richard Harris, Jr. grew up in Gary, Indiana, where he attended Froebel High School, excelling in Football and Track and Field. An exceptional athlete, Harris attended the University of Wisconsin on a track scholarship, where he set Big 10 records in sprints and relays. At Wisconsin, he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; and was the polemarch of his chapter. He served as a Lieutenant in the US Army, and despite getting shot in the foot at his going away party, he served a full tour in Vietnam. Serving God was most important to him. He grew up in Trinity Baptist church in Gary, Indiana where he was a part of almost every organization, choir and, as he loved to mention, was even the church janitor. The Allen Temple Baptist Church was his most recent and active church home, and he sang and directed the Sanctuary Choir and Men's Chorus. He was especially proud to have sung and was a board member for the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. He also took thousands of pictures for church events, weddings and services. It is befitting of such a dedicated servant that he was directing the Allen Temple Men's Chorus when he died. He also loved to travel. He was fond of noting that he had traveled through all 50 states in America; and after a recent trip, he had been to every continent in the world. He attended Carnaval in Rio De Janeiro at least every other year, and was planning on participating in next year's parade. Harris always loved life and lived it to its fullest. He was always happy. After his son and daughter's wedding he noted that if his life ended then, he felt it was full and complete because he was overflowing with joy. He loved gardening, especially arranging orchids. He was a superior sales manager and planner for companies like Microsoft, Sun Microsystems. DEC and IBM. He loved music and always shared music. If he was not singing, playing his drum or taking pictures, he was giving someone a hug or giving one of his many 'children' a gift. He was our best friend. Richard Harris, Jr. is survived by his son and daughter, Richard Harris, III and Ebele Okobi-Harris; his companion, Deborah Richardson; his Goddaughter, Symone M. Thomas; his Stepmother Rosie Lee Harris; his former wife and close friend, Ena Harris; his adopted children and adopted parents; and countless other family, friends and people he has touched through the years. Services will be held this Saturday October 1, at 11 am at Allen Temple Baptist Church. There will be a quiet hour at CP Bannon funeral home on Friday September 30, between 5 and 8 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Charles H. Phillips, IV/Richard Harris, Jr. Scholarship Fund for high school students. CP Bannon Funeral Home 6800 International Blvd. 510-632-1011
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Published in Inside Bay Area on Sept. 30, 2005